Mental health services in the Medford Area Public School District
The Medford Area Public School District has remained responsive to the mental health needs of our students. Throughout our country, State of Wisconsin, and here in our local school district there is more awareness, prevention, and intervention efforts in this area.
Students are being impacted by trauma, reactive attachment, family disruption, societal pressures, selfconcept issues, etc. We are seeing an increase in the number of students identified with a mental health impairment (anxiety, depression, bipolar, eating disorder, etc).
Across our school district we have done multiple efforts to help with positive mental health including, but not limited to: CARES Model – a school-based mental health counseling partnership between Aspirus, Counseling Connection, and Medford Schools.
Aspirus will provide up to $47,952 each year for school-based mental health counseling when parental insurance and Medicaid doesn’t cover these expenses.
Medford schools has a Memorandum of Understanding with Counseling Connection and Aspirus to schedule a mental health counselor in each of our school buildings for select day(s) per week.
CARES Model is now being offered in other schools throughout Taylor County
_ CARES Model Expansion partnership with Memorial Member Association. There are 50% matching funds for salary/benefits for mental health services staffing up to $40,000 in each of the next 4 years.
_ $75,000 DPI Mental Health Grant in 19-20 and 20-21
_ Hiring of two school social workers through local funding, DPI categorical aid, and grant funding
_ Addressing the rural shortage of school psychologists through a partnership with UW-Stout where three of our Program Support Teachers are completing the UW-Stout School Psychology Graduate Program.
_ Formation of the Taylor County Mental Health Awareness Council
_ Maintaining school guidance counselor positions
_ School Nursing Services Model
_ Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports Model
_ PBIS internal and external coaches
_ Social-emotional-behavioral and mental health tiered level of services
_ Alternative Education Programs: Medford Alternative Program at MASH, Alternative HS, and Medford Adult Diploma Academy
_ MAMS EBD Resource Room
_ Suicide prevention efforts in September
_ Walk Together for Suicide Awareness in August
_ Mental Health Trainings – Educator Wellness and Resiliency, Trauma Induced Care, End Stigma of Mental Health, Reactive Attachment Disorder, etc
_ Exploration of universal screeners and progress monitoring tools for social-emotional and behavioral functioning
_ A collaborative partnership with Aspirus to screen, evaluate, identify, and provide supports to students with mental health struggles
_ Student Services staff meetings
_ Social Emotional Learning Competencies
_ Increasing special education services
_ Students with mental health challenges have the right to be referred and evaluated under IDEA and/or Section 504 Due to our Response to Intervention system – any student can receive social-emotional and mental health services at the universal, targeted, and intensive levels. Student(s) may also be eligible for additional services through IDEA or Section 504.
IEP Teams need to determine eligibility and need for services under an emotional behavioral disabilities or other health impairment.
Services for such a student would include: (1) Students would need specially designed instruction from a special education staff member to be eligible.
(2) IEP plan could then include Related Services for SSW, school psych, school nurse, guidance counseling. (3) IEP goals would be written and services related to these goals.
Section 504 Laws
Section 504 laws require 504 teams to determine eligibility under (1) mental impairment and (2) impact on a major life activity - caring for one’s self, coping skills, learning, concentrating, etc.
Students who are found eligible under a Section 504 plan could have identified basic accommodations or plan for services such as: (1) meeting with a student services staff member (School social worker, school nurse, school psychologist, guidance counselor) to help support their mental health needs through counseling, behavioral plan management, coping skills development; (2) school health for medication; and/or (3) any schooling services impacted by their mental health (extra time for assignments when missing school, transition planning, etc).
The Medford Area Public School District, our staff, programming, and collaborative partnerships remain committed to helping support students and families who are impacted by mental health. We strive to be a leader in this area and be another reason for families to be proud to have their child educated in Medford schools. If your child is need for mental health services, contact director of special education/student services – Joseph Greget at 715-748-2316 ext 324.