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(GOAL 2) Evaluate Mental Health Partnerships 

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Evaluate Mental Health Partnerships 

Evaluate the implementation of partnerships for student mental health services. The outcome of this initiative is a recommendation on sustained investments into mental health services that are demonstrated to provide the greatest positive impact to students. 

2023-24 Winter Progress Update 

This initiative will be a multi-year project, centered on creating a sustainable structure for evaluating the effectiveness of community partnerships. In the fall and winter of the 2023-24 school year, the planning team collaborated to scope out the deliverables and process for developing a framework for evaluating effective partnerships. The process is centered around integrating the feedback on these evaluation tools from experts within the KSD community, particularly surfacing feedback related to the criteria for effective partnerships, and specifically mental health partnerships, which would serve the needs of KSD's students. 

Currently, we are honing the first drafts of key definitions and an evaluation rubric for community partners. These elements seek to root the evaluation rubric within a wider context of documenting how partners are engaged and supported within KSD, with a focus on district-wide partnerships. In the coming months, the team plans to recruit a representative team of experts from our schools to offer their feedback on the development of a partnerships evaluation rubric, with specific attention through the mental health partnerships lens. This feedback will then be integrated into the rubric to reflect criteria that assess effective partnerships. 

The planning for this initiative has relied heavily on qualitative data analysis in the process of shaping the goals, outcomes, and deliverables for the first year of implementation. Early in our planning, we identified a need to create common language and tools before attempting to apply an evaluative perspective to specific community partners. Through this assessment, the Research & Evaluation team was engaged to offer their expertise in developing evaluation tools. 

The Research & Evaluation team has used several qualitative analysis methods to inform this scope and begin shaping early iterations of its deliverables. The team conducted a document analysis and literature review to synthesize the landscape of community partnership evaluation tools and specific definitions in the space of student mental health. They then drafted an initial landscape mapping document and draft of the evaluation rubric based on analysis of existing partnership agreements and relevant literature. This has helped to surface initial drafts of the deliverable and illuminate a method for collecting community feedback. 

After assessing the existing structures for engaging partners within KSD, for this initiative to truly be sustainable, it would need to create a set of flexible tools which could be applied to partnerships, regardless of service area. By investing time in creating an intentional set of tools, including common language, an evaluation rubric, and landscape analysis, the deliverables coming out of this initiative could be used iteratively. The evaluation rubric will be designed to be flexible and applicable to more than partners providing mental health services to students, but to all types of partnerships -- with specific additional criteria suited to the respective service of the community partner. 

2023-24 Fall Progress Update

The Research & Evaluation team has drafted a Mental Health Literature review and met with key leaders and stakeholders for the Mental Health Partnerships Initiative to discuss common language and definitions. The Research & Evaluation team, in partnership with the Action Planning Leadership Team, is working on drafting initial definitions for key concepts and a community partnerships grid. These resources will provide the foundation for creating collaborative and inclusive definitions of Mental Health Services for Kent School District. In addition to these definitions, the team is in the initial stages of identifying criteria to create an evaluation tool specific to mental health partners.

Centering Stakeholder Voice

To evaluate and make recommendations on sustained investments into mental health services, beyond the satisfaction of required contractual obligations, it is important to understand the current state of our mental health partnerships. The team will be soliciting school-based voice in creating common definitions and informing the development of criteria for effective mental health services.