Mental Health

Mental Health Instruction

Note from our Principal, Mrs. Nikki Campbell
As many of you are aware the Florida Department of Education requires that students receive instruction in Health Education every year. A minimum of five hours of required instruction related to mental and emotional health for students in grades 6-12 is required for the 2019-2020 school year. In order to comply with this requirement OCPS has designated five Wednesday schedules which will be implemented on Feb. 6th, 11th, 20th, 25th and 27th. Our alternate bell schedule will be posted on our social accounts and can be found by clicking on the date on the calendar on the main page of our website. We have added minutes to the morning for our infrastructure trial for testing and then additional time in 5th period for both the Spring Character lab survey and the first lesson for Mental and Emotional Health. School will start and end at the same time.

The first lesson is called Friend 2 Friend and it is simulation in which students participate in a scenario and then as a class discuss out loud together answers to questions on how they would listen and support their friend.

If you wish for your student to opt out of this lesson you can inquire with our Assistant Principal Ms. Schweitzer for the opt out letter for parent signature. It is also linked below. All students who opt out will report to the Media Center during the instruction.

Click here for the printable opt-out letter or ask Ms. Schweitzer for a copy.

Please reach out to Ms. Schweitzer ([email protected]) or Mrs. Cole ([email protected]) with any other questions regarding the Character Lab Survey or the lesson. We will be happy to assist in any way prior to Thursday.

See below for official letter text from OCPS about this instruction.

January 16, 2020 

Dear Parent/Guardian: 

The Florida Department of Education approved Rule 6A-1.094121, F.A.C., which requires students in grades 6-12 receive a minimum of five hours of mental and emotional health instruction each year, beginning in the 2019-20 school year.  

To comply with this requirement, OCPS has designated five days in which students will receive one hour of instruction from a classroom teacher. The dates are: Feb. 4, 11, 20, 25 and 27. Schools that have conflicting events on one of these dates may have an alternate date. Please check with your school administration.  

The state mandated curriculum components include: 
Recognition of signs and symptoms of mental health disorders;
Prevention of mental health disorders;
Mental health awareness and assistance;
How to reduce the stigma around mental health disorders;
Awareness of resources, including local school and community resources;
The process for accessing treatment;
Strategies to develop healthy coping techniques;
Strategies to support a peer, friend or family member with a mental health disorder;
Prevention of suicide;
Prevention of the abuse of and addiction to alcohol, nicotine and drugs

Students will not be graded on this material. 
Additional student services personnel (psychologists, social workers and district mental health counselors) will be at the schools to assist students who may need counseling during this time or need follow up attention.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the mandated mental and emotional health curriculum, please contact school administration.

This letter is also available in PDF form here.