Milford schools

Mental health services ready in Milford schools to adapt to ‘new normal’


Editor’s Note: Readers, this is one of the stories we were unable to print this week, so we’ve made it available for free on our website.

The Milford Board of Education held its regular meeting on August 19 in front of another crowded crowd following his tenure as a mask in kindergarten through sixth grade buildings.

One of the main points of critics of the mask warrants at the August 16 meeting was the concern for the mental health of children in the district.

William Cates, Mental Health Coordinator, presented a PowerPoint presentation on mental health supports provided by the district.

Cates oversees a team of seven mental health workers and acts as a liaison between two mental health agencies, Child Focus and Best Point Behavioral Health, and district staff.

He said they expected mental health needs to increase this school year, mainly because many students are returning to in-person learning for the first time in a year and a half.

There is also the added pressure to “get back to normal,” which could minimize the impact of the pandemic on the lives of staff and students last year in conjunction with the “looming threat” of COVID-19.

The school age of 12 to 14 is the time when mental health issues that show up throughout adulthood first show up, such as depression, anxiety, trauma issues. and to stressors and family difficulties.

District staff receive information and / or are trained to recognize signs of distress and ways to support students in the classroom, Cates said.

Cates said he was able to help 500 students a year with these interventions and services offered.

Board member Andrea Brady asked Cates if they were going to be more proactive this year, keeping their eyes peeled for kids struggling with adjustments amid the pandemic.

Cates said yes and he informed his team that they might have to sort through the higher referrals to a different level of care to make sure they don’t reduce service quality for quantity.

“And I think part of that is just normalizing help-seeking behavior, letting parents and teachers know that it’s okay to talk about these things, it’s okay to contact a provider. mental health care and just asking the questions, ”he said. “I think mental health is really an integral part of the health of a community.”

In other news from the meeting …

– The board received its letter of support from the Ohio Facility Building Commission for the Class Facilities Assistant program, segment two. It’s a formality, as the Ohio Board of Control also approved the decision on August 2.

OFCC funds will remain in effect for 13 months, which is one of the determining factors for the obligation in the general election ballot on November 2.

At 2.47 miles, the Link, if passed, would demolish the existing high school and build a new middle school for grades six to eight.

The 30-year bond, totaling $ 55.9 million, would only serve these two primary purposes and site traffic / traffic flow considerations.

The aforementioned OFCC funds contribute $ 11,559,512 to the project.

If adopted, the owner of a home valued at $ 100,000 would pay an additional $ 86.45 in taxes.

In its letter, the OFCC forecasted enrollment for the district at 6,420 for the 2025-2026 school year, which is actually down from 6,600.

– The district is looking to hire a part-time nutrition services chef for the high school, who would report to the kitchen manager.

Jeff Johnson, director of business and operations, explained that they were looking to develop new and better choices for students, including with the district’s Cooking From Scratch program.

“With the staff we have, it has been a challenge to do this,” he said.

– The board renewed its agreement with the Miami Township Police Department for school officers, also known as school resource officers. Specifically, the agreement provides for one high school officer, one college officer and one officer to cover the township’s five elementary schools. These officers also assist with school-related events upon request.

Miami Township pays 50 percent of salary, with District paying the remaining 50 percent.

“I think it’s a great decision and it’s something that is needed,” said Dave Yockey, board member.

Johnson said he was excited about the program’s expansion into elementary schools.

Sherri Howard will be the ORS on rotation at these five elementary schools.

“She’s going to go through them, get into classrooms, build relationships with the kids, kind of like we do in middle school and high school,” Johnson said.

Pattison Elementary is the only school in the town of Milford and Johnson said she is no slouch. the Milford Police Department is dedicated to an increased police presence in and around the school.

– Almost another hour of public commentary was devoted to residents re-expressing their thoughts and grievances on the mask mandate applied at the previous special meeting.

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