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What is Project AWARE?


Atoka Public Schools was recently chosen for the 5 year federally funded Project AWARE grant to partner with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). Supports will include high quality trauma-informed training for staff and community who work with school-aged youth, adding a licensed counselor to our district, providing outreach to families and community, developing wellness and resilience education, increasing awareness of the importance of mental health, and linking students and families to needed services and resources.

Atoka Public School is proud to be the recipient of this grant and recognizes the growing need for educating students in mental health, wellness and resilience.  Although academic success is a primary focus for our students, we acknowledge the importance of social emotional learning and mental health needs as essential to learning as well.  Our district recognizes the need to create and maintain a safe school environment, develop positive connections with students and families, and establish partnerships with local community resources.  This framework will allow us as a district to create a more comprehensive whole child approach to education and, in turn, a more hopeful future for our students.


Goal 1: Develop a community and family mental health awareness and outreach campaign incorporating activities designed to engage youth and family to increase knowledge of mental health issues and awareness of school and community based resources designed to support improved mental health in the community.

Goal 2: Refine school discipline policies to reduce loss of instructional time and school removals,.

Goal 3:  Increase the percentage of Oklahoma youth and families receiving needed mental health services through collaboration between LEAs and community mental health providers.

Goal 4:  Train all faculty in OK AWARE districts to identify and respond to students experiencing a mental health issue or crisis.


Objective 1.1:  School staff will complete mental health training each year.

Objective 2.1:  School discipline referrals will reduce 15% per year as measured by baseline data collected in the 2019-20 school year.  

Objective 2.2:  School suspensions and expulsions will reduce 15% per year as measured by the baseline data reported in the 2019-20 school year.  

Objective 3.1:  100% of students enrolled in three LEAs will complete a universal mental health screening a minimum of twice per year as measured by screening results and number of students referred for Tier 2 and 3 services.

Objective 3.2:  75% of students receiving Tier 2 interventions will demonstrate a positive response to the intervention within one year of receiving services.

AWARE Counselor: 

Teresa Kennison, MS, LPC-S

Atoka Public Schools



AWARE Community Manager:

Michelle Allen

Atoka Public Schools