Student support

2023 Student Support Conference a Smash Hit!

Dec 19, 2023 | Current Events, News

Nearly 550 professionals from 52 out of 55 counties attended WV Department of Education’s Student Support Conference on November 29-30 in Charleston, WV. Attendees included attendance directors, homeless liaisons, school counselors, social workers, behavior specialists, county directors, CIS site coordinators and staff, 21st-century directors, Project AWARE staff, family support workers, school administrators, community partners, social-emotional coaches, and transition specialists. 

Evidence-Based Programs in Schools Conference Presentation

Representing Marshall University School Health TA Center’s Division of Community Health was Tiffany Pittman, MA, LPC, AADC, and representing WV DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health was Garrett Keefer, MPH. They co-presented the Follow the Science: Evidence-Based Programs in Schools session. In a packed session, they shared information about:

  • WVDHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health evidence-based program clearinghouse and how to best utilize this resource,
  • the Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) framework highlighting the three tiers of intervention,
  • why use evidence-based programs (EBPs) in each tier,
  • how to select EBPs to match your needs,
  • who – utilizing collaboration to improve implementation and offset funding,
  • when – integration into the existing school schedule to minimize disruption and maximize strength of implementation, and
  • critical components of implementation.

Participation was lively with good interaction, questions, and ideas. Access the slide deck here.

If you have questions related to evidence-based programs for your school or agency, feel free to reach out to

Fayette County Project AWARE Conference Presentations

Members of Fayette County, WV Schools Student Support Team and students from Oak Hill High School participated in a panel discussion at the West Virginia Department of Education Student Support Conference. The goal of the student panel was to discuss the importance of student-led mental health committees. The students spoke about how these committees are essential to the mental health of students and that social/emotional learning is crucial in enhancing academic performance. They provided the audience with true understanding of focusing some of our attention on mental health. A student from the Oak Heal Outreach team ended the panel discussion with a bold statement that should not only encourage other schools to have mental health committees but understand the importance of student voices and recognize the “Heroes Among Us.”

“If we want to see the change in our academic statistics, we have to see these kids for who they are and not the statistics you want them to represent.” – Katherine Dyer

In addition, Rhonda Chuyka, MA, Project Aware Manager, Tiffanny Gray, LGSW, Project Aware Therapist, Jesse Keeton, LGSW, Project Aware Therapist, and Mikaela Adkins, LGSW, Project Aware Therapist shared information about the school-wide referral system they developed, data collection, tiered supports for students, community involvement, and mental health student led awareness campaigns and activities, many of which are budget friendly.

Clay County Project AWARE Conference Presentation

Kelly Duffield NCSP, Ed, MA, LEA Project AWARE Coordinator, Clay County Schools and Leslie Osburn, MA, BS, School Counselor, Clay County High School taught participants how to plan Tier 1 activities that can impact all students. Participants will see real examples of school-wide events at a high school level that teach the Student Success Standards in an engaging, meaningful way.