Educators are interested in what is right, good, and healthy about youth, educators, and schools. CoVitality offers administrators and school employed mental health professionals (school psychologists, school social workers, school social workers) a refreshing way of conceptualizing youths’ psychological strengths and personal assets. We present a field-tested approach to examining psychological strengths using CoVitality instruments developed and validated in California schools. We provide pragmatic guidance for integrating wellness screening and progress monitoring within your MTSS, including Tier I universal screening, Tier 2 progress monitoring, and Tier 3 psychoeducational assessment. Examples will demonstrate how practitioners are using the CoVitality instruments to inform prevention and intervention decisions meant to foster youths’ well-being.
CoVitality: Assessing Student Social Emotional Wellness
Meagan O’Malley As a trainer of school psychologists at Sacramento State University, I work to ensure that our graduate students are equipped to use scientifically-supported approaches to psychoeducational assessment and academic and social-emotional intervention. In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I maintain an active research program investigating topics related to school mental health. I am interested in psychological wellbeing and school climate perceptions, particularly as they vary across youth with minoritized identities. My research has been published in a variety of academic outlets, including the Journal of School Psychology, School Mental Health, and Educational Administration Quarterly. I serve as Associate Editor of the academic journal Contemporary School Psychology, and as Program Chair for the School Culture, Community, and Climate Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.
Michael Furlong, Ph.D., Michael is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of School Psychology and Research Professor at the International Center for School Based Youth Development, University of California Santa Barbara. He co-edited the Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools (2009, 2014, 2022), served as the Journal of School Violence editor (2008-2015), and currently serves as an associate editor of Educational and Developmental Psychology. Mike collaborates with colleagues on Project Covitality (www.covitalityucsb.info), supporting schools’ efforts to foster all students’ social-emotional development. And, in the ancient days (1995), he served as the CASP President.
Susan K. Coats, Ed.D., L.E.P., was the CASP Specialist on Mental Health and Wellness from 2015-2021, a CDE Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup member, a DHCS AB 340 Trauma Screening Advisory Workgroup Member, the mental health liaison for the school based mental health agencies, and developed her district’s K-12 mental health framework and social emotional learning programs. In 2016, she received U.S. Congressional Recognition for her work establishing the first NAMI High School Club in the East San Gabriel Valley, awarded the 2017 “Child Advocate of the Year” from CMHACY, the NASP Outstanding Advocate Award, and the 2018 “Woman of Achievement” award from the California State Legislature. In addition, she has been a NAMI High School Club Advisor, a trainer for Youth Mental Health First Aid, PREPaRE, and the Student Mental Health Initiative.
LMFTs/LCSWs/LPCCs/LEPs: This course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs/LCSWs/LPCCs/LEPs licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. NCSPs: The course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of Continuing Professional Development for Nationally Certified School Psychologists, under Provider Number 1025, licensed by the National Association of School Psychologists. CASP is responsible for the content of this workshop.