School Success

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As public school enrollments grow, Brookline schools are called on to serve more students than ever. Research shows that 1 in 10 children has a mental health disorder severe enough to impair functioning at home, in school, and in the community. The Brookline Center works side by side with educators keeping children healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

Pierce School’s former principal Pipier Smith-Mumford noted during her tenure, “We’re seeing many more students at younger and younger ages with psychological issues that schools are hard pressed to tackle on their own. Our goal is to have every student reach their greatest potential, but if students are preoccupied with social-emotional concerns, then teaching and learning can’t go on.”

On any given day, school-based clinicians in all nine public schools are running support groups, counseling individual children, responding to crises, coaching social workers in training, and helping educators and families work together to provide each child with the support they need to thrive in school. Each year, the Center provides about 1,500 hours of school-based counseling and runs a dozen support groups for Brookline kids.

Ms. Smith-Mumford said, “Trying to address these needs is a huge responsibility. The Brookline Center helps us put resources in place that students need to be able to benefit fully from school.”
Children make up 40% of the people the Center serves. In addition to school-based counseling and consultation, the Center’s in-school team of clinicians provides a gateway to Center-based services for kids and families in need.

Ms. Smith-Mumford concluded, “The Center works with students and families directly in multiple ways, and their teams confer with our staff. Because of this collaboration, I can confidently say we’re doing everything we can to support our kids. And we can teach more effectively because we have kids who feel healthier, who know that they have someone listening to them and helping them work things out.”