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Innovation in School-Based Mental Health

“What is most valuable to me about our collaboration with Wediko is the overall sense that both the school and the organization share equally the desire and responsibility for the success of our students. We are clearly on a shared path of creating an unprecedented school for some of New York City’s most underserved youth and families.”

New Directions Secondary School, an emotionally supportive and academically engaging school environment for over-aged, under-credited middle school students, opened in the Bronx (NY) in September 2012. Founding Principal James Waslawski relied on Wediko’s clinical expertise and understanding to develop a holistic school program for students. Wediko also facilitated important connections in the community and with families. In addition to the prep work prior to the school’s opening, Wediko provides ongoing support to students, teachers, community-based partners, families, and school administrators. In his own words, Principal Waslawski describes the depth of Wediko’s understanding and compassion, why he chose Wediko’s therapeutic model for his school, and how Wediko’s intensive student interventions have improved student connection and attendance at school.

“Wediko has improved our students’ ability to interact with adults and each other, thereby making school a place they want to be. This is evident in our classrooms, the lunchroom, gym and hallways where the students show pride, talk positively about their school and convey an overwhelming sense of belonging – for the first time in a school.”

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