Goal setting. Empathy for others. Managing emotions.
These and other social-emotional skills are critical for students of all ages to be successful academically as well as in their lives and relationships. Beginning in the spring of 2021, Richland School District will use a new screening tool to help gauge where middle and high school students are in their social-emotional learning and help them grow.
The Behavior Intervention Monitoring Assessment System, also called the BIMAS-2, was adopted by the district’s Mental Health Assistance Team to help screen student social-emotional wellness, learning, and development. This information will be used to assist individual students whose responses indicate they may be in crisis while also helping schools build and support programming that addresses social-emotional learning. Students will complete their own self-assessment while attending school.
- Week of March 29: River’s Edge High School
- April 12 - May 6: Richland, Three Rivers HomeLink (middle and high school), and Hanford High Schools
- May 10 - June 3: Carmichael Middle School, Chief Joseph Middle School, Leona Libby Middle Schools, and Enterprise Middle Schools
- All students learning remotely will have multiple opt-in screening days available (to be determined)
There is also the option for your child to not participate in the screener.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why have a specific screener for social-emotional learning? Isn’t this just another standardized test?
Schools routinely screen all students to efficiently address problems with vision, hearing, or learning difficulties. Screening allows for the early identification of risk, so that schools can provide supports and interventions to ensure students can fully engage in learning. There is strong evidence that behavioral and emotional problems are risk factors for later problems, both within school and in the community. Screening can also identify students at risk for mental illness or harm to self or others; improve access to mental health supports and better inform prevention and early intervention strategies.
What is the screener like?
The screener is web-based and has between 31-34 questions depending on whether a student, parent or educator is completing it. There is a paper/pencil version available if needed. These questions assess behavior related to student conduct; anxiety/depression; attention and focus; communication and relationships and academic functioning. The screener takes between 5-10 minutes to complete.
What are some examples of topics that fall under the different portions of the screener?
Here are some of the subjects that the different portions of the assessment will cover:
- Conduct: feelings of anger; fighting (verbally and/or physically); used alcohol or drugs; lied or cheated
- Anxiety/Depression: feelings of anxiety, depression, embarrassment or shame
- Attention & Focus: difficulties with memory and/or planning; fidgeting; difficulty paying attention; impulsive tendencies
- Communication & Relationships: ability to maintain friendships; comfort in interacting with others; ability to work out problems with others
- Academic Functioning: ability to follow directions; being prepared for class; school absences; past academic performance
What if a student’s responses indicate they may be considering self-harm?
School psychologists, counselors, social workers, nurses, and administrators will be able to see student responses and know if a student needs immediate assistance. The screener will be administered to groups of students so that enough staff can be on hand to provide support, work with families and connect a student to services and resources.
Who will have access to student responses?
Student privacy is critical and screener responses will only be available to families and appropriate staff. Individual student data may be shared with teachers and other appropriate school staff when necessary to student learning and support. Aggregate data will be used to make decisions about core instructional programming.
Can I opt my student out of completing the screener?
Families wanting to exclude their student from completing this screener must file an opt-out form with the school. Schools will make these forms available in the days before the screener is administered.
Why is this not being used to screen elementary students?
The BIMAS-2 is designed for use in pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade. However, the district already has social-emotional screening tools for its youngest students and will continue to use those tools to help identify student needs. Universal screening for students K-12 using the BIMAS-2 will be aligned for the 2021-22 school year.
If you would like more information about the universal screener and the other supports we have at our school please contact your school's principal, school psychologist Angie Withers (firstname.lastname@example.org) or school social worker Michelle Sorensen (email@example.com) .