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Oct. 5, 2021: Supporting students' social and emotional wellness

On Oct. 5, 2021, Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District Superintendent Peter Smith sent the following message to J-D families and staff.

Dear Jamesville-DeWitt Families and Staff,

Research has shown us that a student’s social, emotional and mental wellness impacts their overall development and can affect their academic performance. Here at the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District, the overall social, emotional, mental health and behavioral needs of our students have been, and continue to be, a priority and focus of our administration and staff. 

To help us make effective plans to meet our students’ social emotional learning (SEL) needs at the school, class and individual levels, we will be screening our students three times throughout the 2021-22 school year using the Behavior Intervention Monitoring Assessment System 2 (BIMAS-2). The BIMAS-2 is a brief, repeatable multi-informant measure of behavior and social emotional learning. It is not considered a diagnostic instrument, but it will help us identify students who might be at risk or in need of further assessment and monitor the effectiveness of system wide interventions that we put in place.

Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. 

During the 2020-21 academic year, teachers in grades K-8 assessed each of their student’s social emotional learning needs using the BIMAS-2, which is a brief 34-question screener that teachers completed based on their interactions with each student. For the 2021-22 school year, we are expanding the program to include grades 9-12 students.  Each inventory takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, and students in grades 7-12 will be completing the assessment themselves.

The administration periods for the BIMAS-2 are identified as Universal Assessment Periods and are planned for the following dates:  

  • Universal Assessment Period 1: Oct. 18 to Dec. 1, 2021 (grades K-12)
  • Universal Assessment Period 2: Feb. 7 to Feb. 28, 2022 (grades K-6)
  • Universal Assessment Period 3: May 31 to June 10, 2022 (grades K-12)
    • Teachers K-6 will complete the teacher inventory on their students within the first two weeks of each Universal Assessment Period.

So how will this data be used? Upon the completion of each assessment period, building teams will review the data to identify each students’ social emotional strengths as well as across building, grade  and classroom levels. Next steps will include the delivery of social emotional lessons and activities within classrooms, social skills groups, lunch bunch groups and individual student support provided by the school counselors, social workers or school psychologists.  

All information regarding your student will be maintained in a confidential manner. Should you wish to discuss your student’s outcome at the completion of a Universal Assessment Period, please contact your student’s building principal or your student’s counselor/social worker. If you have additional questions, please reach out to me.


Dr. Peter Smith




Dr. Peter Smith, Superintendent

P.O. Box 606
DeWitt, NY 13214

Phone: (315) 445-8300

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