Canton of Mannheim. school board plans to add mental health resources for students and guardians | Community News

When: Working session of the school board of the canton of Manheim, March 10.

What happened: Joni Lefever, Director of Student Services, presented two programs focusing on mental health and wellbeing through in-depth sessions, supporting students as well as parents and guardians. If approved at the March 17 voting meeting, sessions would begin at the end of the month.

why it matters: This would be an addition to the mental health services the district offers to support students and parents in the school community, as the pandemic has shown an increased need for these services.

Program details: Compass Mark’s “Positive Actions” is an eight-session program designed to promote positive mental health and well-being. It would be used to serve third graders, as well as middle school students. The cost of the program is $960. Minding Your Mind’s “Just Talk About It” is a one-session interactive presentation and introduction to mental health, designed to train parents, guardians and young people on how to recognize the warning signs of stress, anxiety, depression and crisis. The cost is $500.

Quoteable: “It’s great to be proactive instead of reactive. I’m excited to see it implemented,” said Board Vice Chair April Weaver.

Recruitment: The board received a presentation from Donna Robbins, district chief operating officer, with staffing recommendations for the upcoming school year. Due to district growth, several schools require additional staff. The final proposed budget costs for the endowment will be on the agenda for the council business session in April. This next session will also include a proposal from Superintendent Robin Felty regarding the 2022-23 tax rate, which has not been determined.

Transport: The district still suffers from a shortage of bus drivers, which Matt Gillis, director of transportation, shared with the council. Two full-time buses have recently been phased out. “Drivers are leaving for full-time positions, they’re leaving the area or retiring,” he said. In an effort to recruit more drivers, the district plans to hold a “drive the bus” event at the district administration campus.

And after: The school board of the Canton of Mannheim will meet on March 17 for its regular meeting.

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