April 12, 2018


MSUB university campus


Orchard Elementary School addresses student stress with help of SHAC and MSUB students

MSUB students assist SHAC with promoting mental health and well-being in Billings Schools



University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — At Orchard Elementary School, Principal Jeremy Carlson is being proactive with helping students as best as he can when it comes to trauma-informed approaches. Orchard School has partnered with Riverstone Health to provide health resources for the families and students of Billings Public Schools. 


Established in May 2015 the Orchard School Clinic is a collaborative effort between Riverstone Health, Billings Clinic, and Billings Public Schools. Out of this effort the stress indicator scale, like the one pictured below, has been used to monitor students’ reactions to stress and how they are managing their stress in times of trauma. “Life is hard, we all have different amounts of stress” said Jeremy Carlson, the principal of Orchard School.
How are you feeling scale, in color

Carlson talks about the development of incorporating a trauma-informed program in the students’ everyday routine at school: “Eventually we are going to have at the morning meetings every kid when they come into the room, they will just give numbers and that way we know right off the bat of where our kids are at socially and emotionally.” 


Orchard Elementary is the beginning of an initiative for Billings Public Schools and the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) to consider trauma informed approaches and care for their students. Looking out for students’ mental and emotional wellbeing is important in the learning environment and academic achievement.


SHAC, an advisory committee to School District 2, is working with MSUB students this semester to develop communication initiatives to help achieve its goals of promoting nutrition, fitness and well-being among students in Billings’ schools.


Orchard Clinic is open Monday & Wednesday, 8 a.m. to noon and Thursday, noon to 4 p.m. The Orchard School Clinic is open to all Billings Public Schools students, their parents, and family members.


For more information, contact Nora Minch at (406) 794-2051 or minchnora@gmail.com, or Jeremy Carlson at (406) 281-6216 or carlsonjc@billingsschools.org.