Principal Guidelines


The principal is the instructional and operational leader of the school and gives final approval for all personnel and programs implemented on the school campus. She or he sets the tone for recovery, conveying concern and support for all recovery efforts, actively encouraging students and staff to make use of additional school-based services, and ensuring that students and staff seeking services are not stigmatized.

  • Identify an in-house mental health program coordinator/director or point person who can provide leadership and technical expertise
  • Delegate authority to a school counselor, school psychologist, or school social worker to assist with the organization, implementation, coordination, and maintenance of the intermediate and long-term mental health services in the school
  • Review existing responsibilities of Health and Human Services personnel at school
  • Adjust job roles and responsibilities as needed to meet the needs of students and staff
  • Assign staff to review school records (academic records, attendance records, and health records) to help identify at-risk students who may need further mental health assistance
  • Assess if students' family members are facing new challenges as a result of the traumatic event, keeping in mind that information about treatment is confidential
  • Authorize recovery awareness training for teachers, Health and Human Services personnel, nurses, school staff, and community mental health personnel
  • Convene school and community meetings to review interventions and gather information from the immediate period of crisis response
  • Meet regularly with all mental health personnel to check needs of students and staff
  • Meet with parents and community for regular information updates
  • Provide staff with regular updates on procedures for assessing and referring students for additional support or treatment
  • Meet with district-level personnel to review the regular services grant from Project SERV and to identify any other potential funding services
  • Provide a written report to district administration
  • Identify the intermediate and long-term recovery needs as expressed by staff, students, parents, community, and district administration
  • Make logistical arrangements for a comfortable, quiet location on or off campus where school and community mental health professionals can provide mental health recovery services for students
  • Prepare positive messages for the media that include reassurances that students and staff are cared for and that services are available on campus and/or in the community
  • Reinforce to families that the best place for students following a crisis is at school, where they can participate in supportive and stabilizing school and social routines