Working to transform the child welfare system.

SB 5685: Requiring a primary contact in schools to recognize, screen, and respond to emotional or behavioral distress in students

This act intends to increase student health and well-being by requiring each school building to have a primary contact who is trained in recognizing, screening, and responding to emotional/behavioral distress in students.

Therefore, a new section is added to RCW 28A.320 to establish that beginning in the 2019-20 school year, school districts must identify 1 person in each school building as the Student Health and Well-Being primary contact.

The primary contact must:

  • Build trusting relationships with students;
  • Educate students about the conditions that should trigger communicating concerns;
  • De-escalate tension;
  • Observe classrooms upon request;
  • Coordinate implementation of plans for recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students;
  • Participate in professional collaboration with school counselors, social workers, and psychologists; and
  • Facilitate partnerships with qualified health, mental health, and social services agencies in the community for referral purposes.