Youth Development

Multiracial group of high school children looking at laptop with teacher indoors.

Program Goal

Enhance the social-emotional well-being of every student by encouraging connectedness through relationships and skill building resulting in healthy school climates and academic success.

Regional Priority: Supporting students’ mental health, and their social & emotional well-being

Social-Emotional Learning

What is social-emotional learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply 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. (CASEL)

Social and Emotional Competence [NYSED]

“Social and emotional competence is the ability to understand, manage and express the social and emotional aspects of one’s life in ways that enable the successful management of life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, solving everyday problems, and adapting to the complex demands of growth and development” (Elias et al, 1997)

Second Step® social-emotional learning curriculum and the New York State Framework for Mental Health Instruction

The following grade-level specific charts illustrate how the evidence-based Second Step® curriculum aligns with the New York State Framework for Mental Health Instruction.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources:

Second Step Implementation
Committee for Children’s Second Step Program is instrumental in strengthening the social-emotional skills of kids around the world and helping them reach their full potential. Grounded in extensive research, the evidence-based Second Step Program carries a reputation for results. Each year, 10.6 million elementary and middle school students in the United States learn a common social-emotional language—and educators across the country praise the program’s ease of use and the speed at which they see improvements in the classroom.

The Youth Development Program can provide classroom implementation of the Second Step curriculum, as well as professional development and coaching for educators implementing the program.
Committee for Children: Second Step

Teen Intervene
Teen intervene is a tested, time-efficient, evidence-based program for teenagers suspected of experiencing mild or moderate problems associated with alcohol or other drug use. Teen Intervene can include their parents or guardians.  The program helps youth identify the reasons they have chosen to use alcohol or other drugs, examine the effects of substance abuse in their lives, and learn to make healthier choices. Click here for more information.

Classroom Presentations
The Youth Development Program offers a variety of classroom presentations for students in grades K-12 on topics including (but not limited to): social skill building, bullying prevention/becoming an upstander, stress management, ATOD prevention lessons, and Communities That Care© Youth Survey data roll out. Our program will tailor presentations to meet the needs of your students, and all lessons are aligned with the SEL Benchmark Rubric.

Skill Building Discussion Group Facilitation
The Youth Development Program provides short and long-term discussion group facilitation for students in grades K-12 in order to develop and enhance students’ social and emotional skills.

Above the Influence: Tag It Campaign
This 3 session activity  is designed to increase teens’ awareness of influences in their environment and how influence may prompt them to make decisions- both positive and negative, healthy and unhealthy. The activity builds “influence literacy” and gets teens to recognize the power of influence.
ATI Partners

Teen Leadership Conference
The annual Teen Leadership Conference brings together student leaders from throughout the TST BOCES Region to participate in interactive workshops where they will gain valuable information, skills, and strategies to positively impact their school’s climate and culture.
2018 Save the Date
2018 Teen Leadership Flyer

Communities That Care© Youth Survey
The Communities That Care (CTC) Youth Survey belongs to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in the office of the United States Government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This youth community survey is a questionnaire for use by community coalitions that uses the risk and protective factor model approach to assess youth problem behaviors, such as violence, delinquency, school dropout and substance abuse.

The Youth Development Program, in collaboration with the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth and our component districts, administers the Communities That Care© Youth Survey to students in grades 7-12 throughout the TST BOCES Region on a biennial basis. The questions in this youth risk behavior survey will allow us to collect data from students regarding: individual, family, school and community risk and protective factors, school safety, 30-Day and Lifetime data regarding tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, age of first use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, bullying, perceived harmfulness of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, gangs, neighborhood/community climate, parents’ and friends’ feelings about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, and family relationships.

TST BOCES Region: Communities That Care© Survey Results
2018 Communities That Care Survey Results
2016 Communities That Care Survey Results
2014 Communities That Care Survey Results
2012 Communities That Care Survey Results


“New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.”


DASA Training Information Applicants for Certification

Effective December 31, 2013, all applicants for Certification are required to complete six clock hours of coursework or training in accordance with Article 2 Sections 10-18 of the Education Law. This training is available only from a provider approved by the New York State Education Department.   Approved Providers

Approved Providers in the TST BOCES Area:

NYSED- Dignity Act
Dignity Act: A Resource and Promising Practices Guide for School Administrators & Faculty

NYSED: Guidance for Updating Codes of Conduct
Material Incident Determination
Conflict, Rude, Mean & Bullying Behaviors

Bullying & Cyberbullying
Eyes On Bullying Toolkit
Education World: Bullying and Cyberbullying: Six Things Teachers Can Do Prevention at School

Edutopia: Bullying Prevention: 5 Tips for Teachers, Principals, and Parents
National Association of School Psychologists: Bullying Prevention

Cyberbullying Research Center
Common Sense Media: Anti-Cyberbullying Tool Kit Cyberbullying


Guidance to School Districts for Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment For Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students
Gender Unicorn
Trans Student Educational Resources
Know-How: The Trans Person’s Guide for New York State

Diversity, Gender, Race & Religion
The Representation Project: The Mask You Live In
The Representation Project: Miss Representation
Raising Cain Documentary
PBS: Understanding and Raising Boys
PBS: Practical Strategies
Edutopia: Preparing for Cultural Diversity: Resources for Teachers
Responding to Hate and Bias at School
Speak Up at School: Pocket Guide

Disabilities & Special Needs
Bullying and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs
Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities
Special Education Today: Need to Know Bullying
Bullying and Students With Disabilities: A Resource Guide

Dignity Act  Coordinators (DAC)  in the TST BOCES Region

Elementary Coordinator: ​Mrs. Volpicelli
Jr/Sr. High School Coordinator: Mr. Aman
DASA  Incident Reporting Form

DASA Reporting Form

Dignity Act Coordinators
DASA Reporting Form

Ithaca City School District:
DASA Brochure
Dignity Act Coordinators, ICSD Protocol & Reporting Form

Dignity Act Coordinators & Frequently Asked Questions
DASA Reporting Form

Dignity Act Coordinator (ES) – Mrs. Vicky Volpicelli
Dignity Act Coordinator (MS) – Mr. Eric Hartz
Dignity Act Coordinator (HS) – Mr. Matthew Ryan
DASA Reporting Form

South Seneca:
Elementary Coordinator: Adam Rundell
Investigator: Phil Marrella

Middle/High Coordinator: Tim Houseknecht
Middle/High Investigator: Cathy Flanders
Harassment & Bullying Incident Reporting Form

Dignity Act Coordinators & Reporting Form

Additional Resources
Understanding Conflict, Rude, Mean & Bullying Behaviors
The BULLY Project
AAA State of Play: Guide to Bullying Prevention
Stomp Out Bullying: Special Needs Students & Bullying
Parent Fact Sheet What Are Public Schools Required to Do When Students with Disabilities Are Bullied?

The mental health of children and teens matters just as much as their physical health. Steps can be taken to promote mental health through building self-confidence and competence and providing a listening ear when problems arise. If mental health issues arise and are left untreated, they can become worse over time and can have negative consequences on academic performance, social and emotional wellbeing, and future opportunities. When treatment is provided early, there is a greater likelihood that it will be effective.

OCM BOCES: Information for Educators
OCM BOCES: Information for Parents
What Every Teacher Needs to Know: Recognizing Suicide Risk in Students
What Every Parent Needs to Know: Recognizing Suicide Risk in Your Child
Trauma Toolkit for Educators
Educational Leadership: Mental Health in Schools
School-Based Mental Health Services: Improving Student Learning and Well-Being
Association for Children’s Mental Health

Youth Development Program

The Youth Development Program’s professional development opportunities are aligned with the New York State Professional Development Standards and Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning, and support the Social-Emotional Learning Benchmark Rubric.

Social-Emotional Learning Benchmark Rubric
Outcomes Associated with the Five Competencies

Youth Development PD Offerings


Contact Us

Jennifer Astles
Youth Development Coordinator
607-257-1551, ext. 1015

Alicia Grey
Service Specialist
607-257-1551, ext. 1020

John North
Service Specialist
607-257-1551, ext. 1021