We want to highlight an important new documentary that relates to our work at the NEA. Dan Habib’s “Who Cares About Kelsey?” documents Kelsey Carroll’s struggles with learning disabilities and behavioral challenges and shows innovative educational approaches that help students like her to succeed – while improving the overall school culture and climate.
When Kelsey Carroll entered high school, she was a more likely candidate for the juvenile justice system than graduation. Diagnosed with ADHD and carrying the emotional scars of homelessness and substance abuse, as well as the actual scars of repeated self-mutilation, Kelsey was volatile, disruptive and, by her own admission, “not a nice person” to be around. She failed every class her freshman year, and repeated her sophomore year.
During Kelsey’s second sophomore year, a new school leadership team implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a youth-directed planning process called RENEW, and other reforms to improve the school’s culture and reduce the dropout rate. Who Cares About Kelsey? follows Kelsey through the ups and downs of her senior year and shows how her school’s new approach towards students like Kelsey gave her the tools and the opportunity to succeed.