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February 15, 2021

The DC Department of Behavioral Health and DC Public Schools are working together to bring District schools more mental health support through community-based organizations. Ellington has been selected as a participating school, which is perfect timing given the current state of affairs.

This expansion is using a three-tiered system of supports:

  • Tier 1 is available to everyone in the Ellington Community.
  • Tier 2 is more targeted mental health supports, including small groups, professional development, and parent training.
  • Tier 3 is focused on individuals who might need more intensive supports, including individual and family therapy, community supports, and possibly medication management for Ellington students, families, and staff members.

Tier 3 services are provided through Maryland Family Resources, Inc., which has assigned Ms. Stephanie Waters, MSW, LGSW, LMSW, as Ellington’s dedicated community-based clinician for all three tiers of support.

Welcome Ms. Waters! She has been fully integrated into the Wellness Team, which has collaborated on the Strengthening Tool and Work Plan to set goals for supporting the Ellington Community’s mental health. The Strengthening Tool was used as a guide for the Work Plan goals, based on the strengths of Ellington’s mental health supports and areas of needed improvement.

This includes an upcoming Universal Referral process to access the Wellness Team and any necessary tiered supports. Based on the needs assessed by referrals, rollouts will continue through this partnership, including therapeutic and support groups, and other programs for the Ellington Community. With your assistance, we can help guide and develop this partnership to maximize its usefulness.

Contact Director of SEL & Shepherding Donna Hollis at for more information.