New health center already seeing students

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Polk County Schools’ new health center at Polk County Middle School has only been open a few weeks, but is already seeing regular visits from students in the district. 


During Monday’s regular monthly meeting at Stearns Education Complex, the Polk County Board of Education received an update on the School Based Health Center. The Center opened in January as a partnership with Blue Ridge Health with the goal of initially providing behavioral health services. 

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Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene told the board that Blue Ridge Health has taken student referrals from the district and is already providing ongoing counseling.  An additional counselor will begin work in the coming weeks and will be dedicated to crisis counseling, supporting students in need of immediate intervention and support. 


The final phase of the opening of the Center will be to offer medical services to students and staff beginning in late March. 


Greene informed the Board that he will continue working in conjunction with Blue Ridge Health to be sure families are aware of the additional resources the Center will provide to students and how to access those resources. 


In other items: 


* Members participated in a two-hour training session on board ethics and responsibilities prior to its regular meeting.  The two-hour session is required for all members and keeps the Board apprised of any legal or policy changes affecting their work.  The presentation also included updates on employment law and advice on avoiding conflicts of interest.  


*  Director of Accountability Dave Scherping presented the board with information about first semester exams. Polk County High School and Polk County Early College have completed all testing for the first half of the academic year, but Scherping noted that analysis of results from those exams at the current time is a bit premature given there is another semester of testing to complete.  High school students have received their final grades for the semester and are almost a month into the spring semester.      


* Finance Officer Debbie Lovelace submitted a budget resolution to accept the latest funding installments from federal, state and local sources. Greene also discussed the district’s 2019-2020 budget process, beginning with schools and departments submitting operations and capital requests in the coming month.  District administration will meet with school and department leaders to receive their requests and outline budget needs for the coming academic year. 

The next school board meeting will be March 12th.  

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