Welcome to the Dickinson ISD

Gator Wellness Center

 

DISD is proud to announce a centralized location for our comprehensive framework for Social & Emotional Learning with our goal focus of providing resources and instruction to address student, staff and community social and emotional learning needs. Our Gator Wellness Center is located at McAdams Junior High. Our district SEL specialist, social worker, district counselor, transition specialist and homebound teacher will all have office and meeting space at MJHS. Gator Wellness refers to the entire mental health, physical, and emotional "wellness" of the individual. Gators... We are Better Together!

Beginning in 2018-19, as a result of Hurricane Harvey, DISD applied for and was granted a ReBuild Texas Fund Grant in excess of $1 million dollars.   We used these funds to hire an SEL specialist and a licensed professional counselor (LPC) as well as providing an extensive and comprehensive capacity building professional development program for our campus counselors and other staff. 

 

Under the leadership of Mrs. Voelkel, DISD committed to continuing the SEL framework. Our framework is designed to help our Dickinson community gain the ability to holistically address the mental and emotional needs of our students. We help students, parents, teachers and staff in building resiliency skills for dealing with future traumas. We have received ongoing technical assistance from Mental Health America and work in close partnership with Galveston County Family Service Center.

 

Amy Cmaidalka, M.Ed, CTP-E

Social Emotional Learning Specialist for Dickinson ISD

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Amy is a Certified School Counselor as well as a Certified Trauma Practitioner-Educator. She provides overall supervision and oversight for our Gator Wellness program.

 

 

Phone:  281-229-7662

 

Mental Health Wellness Support System

 

Gator Wellness is a proactive approach that is implemented from birth on and is a part of our everyday environment.  The Social Emotional Learning framework supports early childhood, students, staff, families and the community.  The overall vision for the program is "Wellness."  Dickinson ISD is committed to the mental health awareness, education, and families of our students.

 

Through Gator Wellness, we focus on:

  • social emotional learning,
  • resiliency,
  • relationship building
  • trauma informed practices, and
  • overall wellness.

Dickinson ISD’s professional school counselors, licensed professional counselors (LPC) and licensed specialists in school psychology (LSSP) are implementing a three-tiered Mental Health Wellness Support System that includes:

Tier One - Proactive /Preventative Support and Resources

  • Character Education
  • Self-wellness/care
  • Counseling and mental health online resources
  • Restorative Practices

    Tier Two - Mental Health First Aid 

  • P3 Campus Reporting System
  • Gator Calling Center
  • Statewide Mental Health Support Line
  • Gaggle software for district devices

    Tier Three - Crisis Response  

  • Crisis Response team
  • Response protocols
  • NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance) process

P3 Campus allows students and families to report a wide range of concerns, from mental health situations to threats of violence.  This system allows the reporter to be anonymous but gives the opportunity to identify if they choose.  P3 campus can be for yourself, peers or family members.  Please download the mobile app through the App Store on your device or access the direct link from any Dickinson ISD campus website.

This project enabled Dickinson ISD to put in place a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) framework through a variety of partnerships with:

  • Mental Health America of Greater Houston (MHA),

  • Hackett Center at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), and

  • DePelchin Children’s Center, and

  • A variety of other local partners.

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Through the grant, the district was able to hire a social emotional learning specialist to implement programming and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) to provide counseling to students. 

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By putting this project in place, we will impact the early development of a child’s social emotion skills, increase early adoption of social emotional learning practices and more consistently lay the foundation for school success.    For Gator Wellness, we want a proactive approach that is implemented from birth on and a part of our everyday environment.  

The SEL framework will support Early Childhood, Students, Staff, Families and the Community.  The overall vision for our program is "Wellness".  Through Gator Wellness,  we will focus on:

  • social emotional learning,
  • resiliency,
  • relationship building,
  • trauma informed practices, and
  • overall wellness. 

Dickinson ISD is committed to our children, mental health awareness, education, and families. 

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By working collaboratively, we can additionally ensure that these supports to young children use a common and complementary language and approach.

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It's also worth noting that this program complements existing investments from:

  • Rebuild Texas Fund with Communities in Schools Bay Area,
  • Family Services of Galveston County,
  • Texas Children’s Hospital, and
  • Camp Noah.
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We have developed a team that will help implement programs and become trainer of trainers so that the program is sustained. 

Some of these trainings and or programs include:

  • Character Strong,
  • Second Step,
  • Superheroes Social Skills,
  • Emotional Backpack Project,
  • Journey for Hope,
  • Niroga Dynamic Mindfulness,
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid,
  • Equity Cultural Responsiveness,
  • Calm Crusaders (anxiety group),
  • Crisis Prevention Institute,
  • Emotional Poverty, and
  • many others. 

Through our collaborative partnerships we will be able to:

  • Offer professional development sessions and coaching to area early childhood centers,
  • Develop a comprehensive counseling model,
  • Provide parent and community engagement events,
  • Provide parenting help, and 
  • Provide trauma and grief support.  
If you are interested in becoming a Community Mental Health Partner with Dickinson ISD, please contact Amy Cmaidalka at 281-229-7662.

The Dickinson ISD Social Emotional Learning (SEL) framework would not be possible without the help and guidance we receive through a variety of partnerships with:

  • Mental Health America of Greater Houston (MHA),
  • Hackett Center at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), and
  • DePelchin Children’s Center

After recent traumatic events in our community, several mental health organizations reached out to help our Dickinson students and families, including:

  • Family Service Center of Galveston County
  • Innovative Alternatives
  • Krist Samaritan Center
  • The Gulf Coast Center
  • American Red Cross
If you are interested in becoming a Community Mental Health Partner with Dickinson ISD, please contact Amy Cmaidalka at 281-229-7662.

The Gator Wellness Center offers a variety of trainings to school staff and the community including:

 


Youth Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

Psychological First Aid - Schools

As+K to Save a Life (Suicide Prevention)

Trauma Informed Care

Emotional Backpack Project

 

To participate in any of these trainings, or to schedule a training at your location, please reach out to Amy Cmaidalka at 281-229-7662.

Amy Cmaidalka is the Social Emotional Learning Specialist for Dickinson ISD. She has been in education for 17 years.  Amy taught Kindergarten for 7 years , was a Professional School Counselor for 8 years and this is her second year as the SEL Specialist.  Prior to her current position, Amy was the Lead Counselor for Elementary through Middle school and the Lead Section 504 Coordinator for the district.  Amy earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.  Amy is a trainer for Youth Mental Health First Aid,  Mental Health First Aid, As+K About Suicide to Save a Life, Trauma Informed Care, and a STARR Certified Trauma & Resilience Practitioner.   She is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), certified in National Organization of Victim’s Assistance (NOVA) and a member of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team.  Amy was the recipient of the 2018 Walter Kase Educator Excellence Award presented by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for exemplary programming that promotes awareness and appreciation of diversity. She is passionate on advocating for professional school counselors, mental health awareness, trauma informed care and self-wellness.  Amy is implementing a Gator Wellness Initiative for Dickinson ISD.  This initiative is a social emotional learning model that will focus on early childhood, students, staff, and community utilizing a grant awarded from the Rebuild Texas Fund.  Amy enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and family.  She is a Dickinson ISD graduate and is looking forward to programs that bring enrichment and social emotional learning into our gator community. 

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The mission of the Dickinson Independent School District is to ensure that all students have safe and successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives. 

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