HISD supports the necessary commitment to mental and physical health support for HISD families

HISD is working to expand non-educational support for students. These efforts continue to be supported by research, including a survey that maps the pressing needs of families across the district.

The study by the Rice University Kinder Institute’s Houston Education Research Consortium found that mental and physical health support is among the areas most needed by students and parents.

“This year HISD has prioritized additional resources to address mental and physical health through a variety of programs,” said Dr. Candice Castillo, Student Support Services Executive Officer. “In addition, HISD has increased social work guidance and support and completed the expansion of having at least one comprehensive specialist on each campus.”

In early November, the HISD School Board approved an investment to provide on-campus telehealth services to all students, which will be rolled out in phases. The service includes access to licensed professionals for physical and mental health support. To use this service on campuses, a one-off permission from the parents is required.

In addition, these efforts are essential to helping HISD identify organizations and community resources that can expand access to critical services.

“Our students deserve support beyond the classroom,” says Superintendent Millard House II. “This collected data will be critical to moving forward so that we can best help address these challenges facing our students and families, which continue to be exacerbated by the current environment we face.”

The HISD Student Needs Survey was sent out during the 2021-2022 school year to nearly 43,000 students in grades 3-12, 8,000 parents of students in pre-K-12, and 5,600 HISD employees on 269 campuses. Participants were asked to identify needs in five categories: health, mental health, basic needs, home learning environment, and enrichment activities. Parents were also asked about legal services.

The findings show where additional resources are most needed. You can read the full report here:

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