LARWILL, Ind. (WANE) – Mental health therapists will stay within Whitko Community Schools, the school board announced Monday night.
Previously, there were plans to restructure the district’s “Social Emotional Learning” program which would’ve eliminated all mental health therapists working within the schools, superintendent Tim Pivarnik said during the school board meeting.
During a board work session last week, however, various members of the district’s staff and those mental health therapists showed up to speak with the board and express the reasons these positions needed to remain.
“Quite frankly, they provided us with a lot of very good information that helped us really step back and rethink our proposal,” Pivarnik said during the board meeting. “We’ve often said your board here is not a rubber stamp, and this showed it is not a rubber stamp.”
“We all listened, we heard, we stepped back and looked at that proposal again,” Pivarnik continued. “It’s the best interest in our staff, our community and our students to leave our mental health therapists in place, moving forwards, so we’re doing that.”
Pivarnik said the school is legally obligated to provide students with a multi-tiered system of supports – MTSS in school lingo – and the district is now looking for ways to fold aspects of the Social Emotional Learning program into that.
“I think it’s going to be a much more impactful program,” Pivarnik said. “It will be impactful for every student and every staff member in our buildings.”
Pivarnik added that he and his administration staff will be meeting throughout the summer to fine tune how the new multi-tiered systems of supports will work during the following school year.