Wright-ings E-Notice

Daniel Wright Junior High School E-Notice - Feb. 25, 2021

Signs of Suicide Prevention Program

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The adolescent years are marked by a roller-coaster ride of emotions challenging students, their parents, and educators. It is often easy to misread depression as normal adolescent turmoil; however, depression (among the most common of mental illnesses) appears to be occurring at a much earlier age. Depression—which is treatable—is a leading risk factor for suicide. In addition, self-injury has become a growing problem among youth.

To proactively address these issues, Daniel Wright Junior High School is offering depression awareness and suicide prevention training as part of the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program. This program aims to increase help-seeking by students who are concerned about themselves or a friend.

SOS is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices; and in a randomized control study, the SOS High School Program showed a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40% (BMC Public Health, July 2007).

Our goals in participating in this program are straightforward:

  • To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness

  • To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression

  • To provide student training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicide in themselves or a friend

  • To impress upon youth to help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns

  • To help students know who in the school they can turn to for help, if they need it

This program will be presented on the following dates to students during the normal school day:

  • Seventh-grade on Monday, March 8, 2021
  • Sixth-grade on Wednesday, March 10, 2021
  • Eighth-grade on Thursday, March 11 2021

The SOS program is brought to us by Elyssa's Mission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention. Elyssa's Mission is the only organization in the State of Illinois to fund, distribute and implement SOS. We encourage you to visit www.sossignsofsuicide.org/parent for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn.

As part of the program, facilitators will show the SOS video and subsequently lead students in discussion. Students who receive the lesson in-person will then complete a brief screener for depression and a response card indicating whether or not they would like to speak with an adult about themselves or a friend. The depression screening tool addresses thoughts and feelings, which a parent may be unaware their child is having. This tool does not provide a diagnosis of depression, but rather alerts school staff to any students requiring further follow-up. School mental health staff or a qualified community mental health partner will be available to meet with designated students; school staff will subsequently notify parents/guardians regarding any recommended next steps. Students who receive the lesson in the remote setting, will complete a response survey indicating whether or not they would like to speak about themselves or a friend with an adult.

Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, students in remote learning will be required to keep their cameras on during the full lesson. The reason for this request is that we want to be sure to monitor the need for support. If a student turns their camera off, a staff person will be contacting the student as well as their parent.

If a remote student indicates they need to speak to someone after the lesson, the family must be reachable so that follow up services and support can be implemented. If a student/family is

unreachable after indicating need for services, standard crisis protocol procedures will be

implemented. This may mean a wellness check home visit by a Daniel Wright staff member/administrator, and/or referral to other appropriate entities for intervention. It is imperative that you and your student are reachable the day of the lesson.

If you have any questions and/or do not want your child to participate in the SOS program, please contact Melody Littlefair, Assistant Daniel Wright Principal, prior to the program date at mlittlefair@d103.org or 847-457-9327. If we do not hear from you before the program date, we understand that your child has permission to participate in this program.


Melody Littlefair, Assistant Principal for Student Services

District News

Board of Education Meeting

The next regular Board meeting will occur on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. The notice and agenda can be found on the District 103 Board meeting website page.

Partnership News

Eighth-Grade Scholarship

The D103 Learning Fund Foundation provides a scholarship opportunity for Daniel Wright eighth-graders. A $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to a qualifying eighth–grader in memory of former parent Dawn Anderson.

The Dawn Anderson Scholarship was established in honor of Dawn Anderson who passed away in 2017. While her children progressed through the District 103 school system, Dawn followed them, volunteering for any and every school or teacher-based project available. Motivated by her love of children, Dawn continued volunteering after her children moved on in their education. To honor her legacy, the Learning Fund Foundation established the scholarship to recognize a D103 graduating eighth–grade student who displays a passion for volunteering and serving others. This $2,500 award must be used for education at a post–secondary school. For more information, please visit the Learning Fund Foundation's scholarship website page. The deadline to apply is Saturday, April 10, 2021. Please contact the foundation at lff+anderson21@d103.org with questions.

Daniel Wright Junior High School

Principal Michelle Blackley

Assistant Principal Nina Nusbaum

Assistant Principal Melody Littlefair