The Minnesota Departments of Human Services and Management and Budget want to partner with school districts or collaboratives of schools to offer a social emotional learning-based curriculum for middle schoolers to promote positive mental health and prevent substance use. Programming would start in fall 2020. The state will cover the costs to implement the curriculum for four years (from school year 2020-21 to 2023-24), including staff training and reimbursement of teacher or substitute training time, curriculum materials, and technical assistance.
Only a limited number of schools can be supported, so districts are encouraged to apply as early as July 15, 2019. As soon as districts apply, state staff will schedule a site visit. The application is expected to officially remain open until November 15, but the state may close the application process earlier, depending on the number of applicants.
The curriculum, called Life Skills Training (LST), is offered to middle school students over three consecutive years (6th-8th or 7th-9th grade). LST works by helping to develop students’ social and self-management skills. The curriculum is flexible and can be taught in a range of different existing courses, including health, physical education, home room, foundational courses, etc. LST is also aligned with CASEL’s five social emotional-learning competencies (SEL) and may be beneficial for schools looking to implement evidence-based SEL models.
If you have questions or want to learn more, please email Lindsey Thompson.