April 15, 2019

School based mental health programs (SMHP) provide critical services to students in order to mitigate the myriad of negative outcomes associated with mental health problems. However, limited applied, evaluative research has been conducted examining the effects of such programs on student outcomes. In particular, problems exist regarding the measurement of student mental health (needs in school settings. The purpose of this project is to improve measurement of SMH needs by engaging in two related studies. The first study will investigate the psychometric properties of the Minneapolis Public Schools (Behavior Screener Checklist 3 (BSC), which holds promise as a critical indicator of SMH needs. The second study will build on Study 1 and evaluate outcomes associated with the MPS Expanded School Mental Health Program (MPS ESMHP). We will use extant data from MPS and MN Kids Database in order to 1) examine evidence for reliability and validity of the BSC and 2) use results from Study 1 to create match comparison groups in order to evaluate outcomes associated with the MPS ESMHP. Results from this study will inform ongoing program development and implementation efforts in MPS as well as informing policy makers and stakeholders of SMH in MN.