Thursday, March 12, 2015

Capitol Visit

This past Tuesday I had the privilege of joining the Superintendents from four other Boone county schools in a trip to the State Capitol.  The purpose of this trip was to visit with our local legislators concerning H.B 42 and educational funding.  Recently, Boone county superintendents have been working closely in the implementation of the Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition.  The following is a brief description of this coalition:

The Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition, a partnership between Boone County’s six school districts, the University of Missouri (MU), College of Education, Department of Educational School and Counseling Psychology, the Missouri Prevention Center, and the School of Social Work received funding from the Boone County Children’s Fund to increase staff knowledge and skill in working with mental health issues in our schools. Coalition staff will implement an innovative program to train school-based personnel in effective interventions and to provide resources for programs for youth proven to promote mental health and well-being. 

Funded by a county sales tax passed in 2012 to provide increased mental health services for children, the Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition began work this month by providing Mental Health First Aid training in several Boone County Schools. Pilot program schools will soon receive training to use data to identify students in need of additional mental health supports and to plan effective interventions to meet needs.  With the support of the MU Human Environmental Sciences Extension Office, who provided the trainers and materials, the Sturgeon School district kicked off the project initiative by committing to and training all school staff, 60 plus individuals, in Mental Health First Aid to increase awareness of mental health symptoms of youth in their community.  

As a result of of our visit as of right now it appears that H.B. 42 is favored to pass rather than SB 1.  There are far less unintended consequences in H.B 42 for school districts across the state.  Concerning school funding, it appears that as of right now school funding will not receive any cuts in next year's funding but instead should remain constant.

Thank you for your time!  Have a great day!!

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