Services help support students attending TEAM High School
WOODLAND — Woodland Public Schools will now offer free mental health services to students at TEAM High School, the district’s alternative high school program, thanks to a funding allocation received from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Federal program which replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Students from all backgrounds can experience trauma or stressful situations from any aspect of their lives and may benefit from simply having someone talk with them about their problems.
“Therapy offers an effective method for students to receive care from a professionally-trained practitioner who actively listens to them and helps them cope with difficult issues that may be interrupting their learning,” explained Jake Hall, the district’s executive director of Learning Supports and Alternatives. “For many students, therapy is a key for success in academic and behavioral growth.”
Woodland Public Schools received an allocation of funds from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) specifically earmarked for student academic support and enrichment to pay for student health services. Stacy Brown, business services manager, and Hall decided to start by providing free mental health services to TEAM High School students.
“We decided to start at TEAM as the school doesn’t currently have support of this kind on a regular basis like our other schools,” explained Brown. “In addition, the district will continue to receive these funds annually so we will be able to ensure TEAM High students have access to these services in future years, too.”
Teachers and support staff keep an eye out for students who might benefit from therapy and offer them the option to receive free mental health services.
“Our teachers and staff work with many students who deal with a wide variety of stressful issues during their busy lives – both in and out of school,” said Hall. “Having a licensed professional listen and provide support can make a huge difference in their learning.”
The district works with local practitioners including Stacie Crochet, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and the Woodland Wellness Center to provide students with free services.
“Last year, Stacie reached out to us to let us know she was moving her practice to Woodland from Vancouver and wanted to help our students if there was a need,” said Hall. “When we started putting together this program, I knew she would be an excellent fit with her professional background working with youth and her practice’s convenient location within walking distance of TEAM High School.”
Stacie has worked in the mental health industry for years helping children in Texas, Florida, and even Germany. She discovered her love for helping others while talking to her friends growing up in Kansas.
“As a kid, all of my friends would talk to me about their problems, and I realized how much I enjoyed providing comfort and direction to others in need,” she said. “I love working with adolescents because I truly appreciate their honesty – they often have no issue discussing how and why they may be having difficulty in their lives.”
Parents can keep an eye out for signs that their student might need someone to talk to.
“Sudden changes in behavior such as withdrawing from family activities, acting out, or a drop in grades can indicate anxiety or depression while unintended weight loss or weight gain can be indicators there’s something going on in your child’s life,” said Crochet.
Hall and his team will closely monitor the program and make any necessary changes as needs arise.
“All of Woodland’s teachers and support staff keep a close eye on our students’ needs in order to identify ways we can help them learn effectively and live healthy lives,” he said. “Woodland Public Schools is excited to be working with Stacie and the Woodland Wellness Program to help take care of our students mentally and physically.”
Students attending TEAM High School interested in receiving help can speak to their teachers, the school’s support staff, or reach out to Crochet directly through her website at www.staciecrochet.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Initially, the funds provide services exclusively for TEAM High students as Woodland’s other schools have dedicated counselors and social workers on-site.
If you are a parent of a student attending one of the district’s other schools or programs and believe your child may need help, speak with your student’s teacher, call your school’s office, or reach out to the school’s counselors or social workers directly. More information for each school’s staff can be found on the district’s website at www.woodlandschools.org.
Information provided by Woodland Public Schools.