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Student Well-Being Support

Student well-being, as defined by the National Institutes of Health (, is the cornerstone of one's ability to effectively navigate life's challenges and adapt to adversity. At its core, supporting student well-being entails embracing principles, tools, and strategies that empower both students and educators on their journey.

Engaged Teacher Working with Student

A heightened emphasis on student well-being paves the way for essential outcomes, such as emotional and behavioral regulation, fortified school-based relationships, and an enriched classroom and school environment. This, in turn, contributes significantly to a more positive school climate and culture. One of the linchpins to achieving this lies in equipping principals with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to guide their teaching staff in cultivating well-being for themselves and their students. It is this strategic focus that holds the key to success for both students and educators alike.

The MLDS Treatment for Student Well-Being is comprised of four essential elements. These essential elements contribute to the building both educator and student well-being.

Strong Relationships Icon

Research indicates having at least one trusted school adult can protect against a variety of mental health factors, improve student engagement and academic outcomes (Roorda et. al, 2011). Positive student-teacher relationships have also been tied to higher-quality teaching (Li et. al, 2022). The relationships encourage teacher motivation, effort, and confidence. Moreover, teacher-student relationships may also improve teacher well-being by mitigating certain classroom stressors, demonstrating their impact not just for students but also for school adults (Spilt et. al, 2011). As the pandemic frayed or broke many relationship structures, it is especially important now, for teachers and students, to have the support to rebuild relationships.

Managing Self and Others Icon

Models for student well-being attempt to identify the factors shown to be related to success in the world. Included in these models are skills such as self-management, self-awareness, relationships/engagement with others, and emotional regulation (Greenberg, 2023; Chernyshenko et. al, 2018). Developing these skills in educators and in students is important for student well-being and academic success. For example, students who receive instruction on these skills show improvement in academic performance, decision-making and problem-solving skills, and reducing disruptive behavioral problems (Mahoney et. al, 2019; Green et. al, 2021; Greenberg, 2023).

Teaching Icon

Student well-being at school is intricately tied to school culture and climate. Well-being efforts both support and build upon a strong school culture and climate (Pennsylvania State University, 2018). Principals are key to building a supportive school climate and developing responses to students’ well-being needs. Moreover, “Principals who build a school climate in which teachers and students feel emotionally supported provide a bedrock on which academic improvement efforts can rest” (Grissom et al., 2021). Principals are critical in organizing schools which help students feel safe and supported (Jacobson et al., 2007).

Trauma Informed Icon

Trauma is prevalent in our schools, more than two thirds of children report at least one traumatic event by age 16 (SAMSHA, 2019). Trauma is the response to an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is physically or emotionally harmful and that has lasting adverse effects on an individual (SAMHSA, 2014). Trauma can have a broad impact on students, including on their behaviors, relationships, and capacity for learning.

Children exposed to adverse childhood experiences, such as many experienced during the pandemic, often exhibit challenges with skills critical for success in school such as executive functioning, social skills, and emotional regulation (Jones et al., 2021). Educators therefore must be equipped with the skills to recognize and respond appropriately to trauma to ensure student well-being and academic success.

Educators are trauma-informed when they understand the impact of trauma, recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma, and respond in an informed manner that provides support and avoids re-traumatization. Educators who become trauma-informed are better equipped to support students that have experienced trauma and facilitate personally and academically beneficial outcomes for the students they serve.

Building principals’ capacity to be trauma-informed assists them in expanding both their own and other’s abilities to recognize students experiencing trauma and to develop and respond with classroom-level and school-wide interventions.

Complete the form below and an MLDS representative from your region will follow up with you to complete enrollment in the MLDS program or provide you the value of MLDS. There is no cost to you or your district.
You may also leave a message at 617-423-1444 (CTAC) or 573-751-7986 (DESE) and one of our team members will contact you soon.