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West Fargo schools to add five therapists to address ‘complex mental overall health crisis’ – InForum


Mar 19, 2023

WEST FARGO — In its continued work to raise mental and behavioral overall health sources, the West Fargo College District hopes to employ 5 mental overall health therapists prior to the finish of this college year.

Human Sources Director Brittnee Nikle stated the positions will be 215-day positions and price the district about $308,300, the majority of which will be paid for with federal income from the college-primarily based mental overall health (SBMH) grant.

In a memo to the college board, Nikle stated the demand for clinical counseling solutions inside schools has been a expanding want. Referrals for contracted clinical counseling have improved 227% just this college year.

“By supplying clinical therapy in our schools for learners who would otherwise knowledge barriers to accessing solutions, we are recognizing the essential want for enhanced (Tier three) solutions for learners with moderate to serious wants, alleviating some of the pressures off our college employees who are not educated to address complicated mental overall health crisis,” Nikle stated.

She added that addressing mental overall health early aids stop achievement gaps, raise graduation prices and betters interpersonal relationships.

The district currently employs a quantity of mental overall health specialists such as social workers, college counselors and college psychologists. The 5 new positions will be certified to help mild to moderate mental overall health issues.

“These do need licenses,” Nikle stated.

As soon as grant income runs out, the district will have to make a decision no matter if or not it can retain the positions via its normal budgeting.

“They will have to run via our staffing committee method when the grant runs out,” Nikle stated. “They go up against all employees positions. So they will type of have to compete.”

Along with the 5 therapist positions, which the board authorized hiring by unanimous vote, the college board also authorized hiring about 20 new classroom teachers, most which will be for Horace Higher College.

“A majority of these positions are for Horace Higher College as they bring on grade 12 and as we are going to the academy model,” Nikle stated.

Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Vince Williams stated employees worked with higher college principals to be as effective as attainable with regards to the teacher hiring method, which incorporated placing caps on specific elective classes to make certain there are sufficient students hoping to take specific classes.

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Wendy Reuer

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all issues West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.

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