Mid-Family Therapy Clinic services available at Mt. Pleasant schools next year

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Mid-Iowa Family Therapy Clinic services will be available at Mt. Pleasant Community schools during the 2018-2019 school year after the board approved a collaborative agreement during their meeting on Monday, July 9.

Per the agreement, the school district is giving the Clinic space for student therapy in the schools. Teachers, staff and administration will not be doing any recommendations for who should pursue the Clinic?s services. All costs for services are between the families and their insurance carriers. There is no cost to the district.

?It?s not unusual to have school-based services like this,? District Superintendent John Henriksen said. ?It would be a resource we could have at school for kids and families who might benefit from something like this.?

The district has previously held agreements with Young House Family Services and the Clinic for school-based services.

Additionally, Director of Instruction Katie Gavin further discussed the district?s potential contract with Four Oaks with the school board. Four Oaks has resources that could help teachers, staff and administration with the most challenging students in the classroom through trauma-informed care.

While a contract between the district and Four Oaks is not yet ready to be signed, Gavin and Henriksen stressed teachers? hunger for this sort of learning to better meet the needs of their students.

?It?s a chunk of money, but it?s worth it and our kids are struggling,? Gavin said.

Four Oaks would predominantly work with teachers during professional development days, the first of which is at the end of August. At that first meeting, Four Oaks? Brian Christoffersen will introduce teachers to vocabulary relevant to trauma-informed care and discuss psychology, Gavin said.

Four Oaks will likely focus their training in the first year on Mt. Pleasant Middle School and Van Allen Elementary School. Gavin would also like to see Salem Elementary School included.

There will be a team of teachers who will be known as the Behavior Champion Team, a two-year commitment where these teachers learn more intensely and quickly about trauma-informed care. So far, Gavin has had 36 teachers express their interest by completing an initial survey to be a part of the team. The team will be finalized in September.

In other news, summer construction is going smoothly at each school. ?(It?s) just a matter of meeting the time schedule so we can turn things over the first week of August,? Henriksen said.

All work in the schools must be done by Aug. 6.

At Salem, Harlan and Lincoln elementary school ceiling grids are going in and welders are completing ductwork. Electrical work is going on at Lincoln Elementary School and piping to the units is going in.

At Van Allen, crews are working on piping units and the underground electrical work is almost done. They are also finishing the last of the drywall and replacing some flooring.

The state fire marshal will be completing an inspection above ceiling on July 23. Ceiling tile will be dropped in after that. A final inspection of all schools will be Aug. 6.

After an air compressor stopped working at the high school, the board voted to approve Trane to replace it for the low bid of $31,950.

Further preparation for the 2018-2019 school year included approval of milk and bread bids. The board approved bids from Andersen Erikson, who have been the district?s milk supplier for the last few years. Pan O Gold Bread was approved as the district?s bread supplier this year.

The next school board meeting will be Monday, Aug. 13.