Minnetonka Schools Selected for National Youth Mental Health Program Cohort

Minnetonka Schools Selected for National Youth Mental Health Program Cohort

Minnetonka Public Schools was selected as one of 15 school districts nationwide to participate in the inaugural cohort of the District Comprehensive Approach, a collaboration to support youth mental health. 

Co-led by The Jed Foundation (JED) and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the District Comprehensive Approach pilot is a transformational program that guides districts in improving systems of support for pre-K-12 students’ emotional well-being. Inaugural district cohort members will be at the forefront of learning and leading powerful mental health and suicide prevention practices that will benefit both staff and students.

"We strive to be proactive, rather than reactive, in our efforts to address the challenges and opportunities our students and staff encounter, as mental health is a top priority for our school district,” said David Law, superintendent of Minnetonka Public Schools. “Students do better when they feel safe, supported and connected, and teachers and staff are happier and more productive when they feel respected and supported. We are eager to make this investment in the District Comprehensive Approach because we feel it is an important opportunity to learn and grow alongside other innovative and proactive educational and mental health leaders. This group of school districts will be a model for how to strengthen mental health supports for students while also improving their academic and emotional well-being.”

In addition to powerful professional learning experiences, program participants will receive a written, locally-developed district strategic roadmap for building comprehensive student mental health and suicide prevention programming. All participating districts will also receive two years of technical assistance from JED experts as they implement their plans to enhance systems of support to create first-class school mental health systems.

“School leaders know that getting in front of the youth mental health crisis requires thinking far beyond one-size-fits-all approaches,” says David R. Schuler, executive director at AASA. “That’s why we’re partnering with JED to launch a comprehensive, transformative and scalable district-wide approach that is designed to meet this urgent need. This initiative will provide an evidence-based framework combined with the expert support, best practices and data-driven guidance our students, families, staff and caregivers deserve.”

In April 2023, JED and AASA formed an exclusive partnership to develop and deploy the District Comprehensive Approach program, together, providing pre-K–12 school districts across the nation with an evidence-based framework — combined with expert support, best practices, and data-driven guidance — to protect mental health and prevent suicide for millions of students. This collaboration combines JED’s 25 years of experience protecting emotional health and preventing suicide for more than 1,200 schools, districts, and campuses with AASA’s 150-year commitment to serving public education and school district leadership. The creation of the comprehensive approach establishes and exemplifies the significance school district leaders are placing on their students’ emotional health.

The approach derives from JED’s evidence-based High School Comprehensive Approach. Through this framework, school districts will ensure that existing systems support the mental health of all students.