• Mental, Social, Emotional Health


    Niagara Falls City School District Mental Health Guide

    Students, like any other group of people, come with a variety of experiences and needs. The District addresses these needs in both programmatic and common sense ways, and invites the greater community to join us in supporting our youth.

    Here is an overview of what the District offers: 

    Mental Health First Aide:

    This eight-hour course provides staff the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. It will be offered to staff at all grade levels on a Saturday training.

    Suicide Various trainings:

    These focus on dealing with students’ feeling or actions of self-harm and injurious behaviors and include a book study (13 Reasons Why), Postvention Training, and a PSA Campaign. The majority of support has been targeted at the Prep and High School Levels due to the content, but they can be delivered at all levels.

    Trauma Informed Care 

    Trauma Informed Care focuses primarily Adverse Child Experiences (ACES) and how to address and work with students who have experienced trauma in their lives. Trainings are developed to be offered at all district levels.

    Edge Foundation

    Edge Foundation provides staff with a methodology on coaching students who have executive functioning deficits. The expectation is 20 minute, 1:1 time with a student, and a checking in with them later in the week. It requires 14 hours of training, and leads to Edge Coaching Certificate. It is currently at GPS and there are plans to offer it to select staff at all levels.


    Basic Emotional Skills Training (BEST) is a K-5 curriculum focused on the Too Good For Violence Curriculum. It is delivered to all elementary students (K-5), and plans to implement it in Pre-K are in the works.


    Gateway provides mental health supports and treatment (counseling, diagnosis, medication) at four elementary schools and is available for all students in those schools.


    The COACHES Program is a parenting program from the University at Buffalo. It provides training for parents of students with ADHD (and other qualifying criteria) and takes place in the evening. It has been advertised and offered to all students in grades 2-6 and is delivered in the evening at Cataract and Niagara Street schools.


    The University at Buffalo offers free consultation for staff at Hyde Park and GPS to discuss behavioral concerns and/or management techniques. It is available for all staff at GPS and Hyde Park.

    Sources of Strength

    Sources of Strength is a suicide awareness group/curriculum provided to students at NFHS.


    At the elementary levels, we provide a variety of emotional and mental health programming, including in-school counseling.

    Anonymous Student Reporting

    Every school has a Safe Locker or Bully-free Box, where students can anonymously drop a note expressing what they saw, heard, or suspect that may trouble them. These are places not only to pass information about bullying, but about unsafe behavior or concerns about violence, substance abuse, or anything else. School personnel follows up.

    Safety Officers and plans

    Of course, the District employs safety/resource officers and has detailed safety plans for every school and scenario.

    What can you do?

    If you are a student, parent, scout leader, pastor, neighbor, or anyone who sees in life or on-line something that causes concern about a particular individual, know that you can have a confidential conversation with a dean, a principal, or myself to share those concerns.

    If you are a parent or guardian, pay attention to your children on-line – both what they see and what they post. Talk to your children about the importance of speaking up