LACONIA — "Mental health and behavioral health issues are very present 24/7," School Superintendent Terri Forsten told the School Board last night as she mentioned several initiatives underway to address them.
With a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the School District has hired a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, who has begun work in both the high school and middle school. In addition, mental health counselors from Genesis Behavioral Health are spending two days each week in the high school, middle school and three elementary schools.
Meanwhile, school staff are undergoing Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) training and PBIS consultants are present in the each of the five schools.
"I'm smiling and laughing at the strength of our consultants," Forsten said, stressing that the district is very fortunate to be working with people of national reknown.
When the Budget and Personnel Committee met prior to the board meeting both Scott Vachon and Mike Perrson referred to the rising costs associated of educating children affected by alcohol and drug abuse as well as financial hardship in the home. Perrson noted that the committee approved transferring nearly $222,000 from other items in the budget to fund contracted services, salaried teachers and aides in special education. "We can't cut the budget as these costs continue to increase," he remarked.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 373