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School district receives grant to fund social and mental health workers

The Nevada Department of Education’s Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment awarded block grants totaling $5.6 million to the neediest schools in Nevada as an essential tool that will provide assistance in areas of special needs students.

All eleven school districts that applied received funding, including the Nye County School District, as well as six of the neediest charter schools. Nevada’s schools will be receiving a minimum of 161 social workers and other mental health professionals to provide immediate support across 132 schools.

NCSD approved the grant at their Jan. 22 board of directors meeting that will provide six social workers and mental health workers in schools as part of the Safe and Respectful Learning Environment legislation.

The amount of the grant for NCSD is $210,175.78 and it would be good until the end of this school year and then the district would need to apply again for the next school year.

“Our schools are primed for excellence thanks to the recently enacted education bills. Increasing the number of trained mental health professionals will empower our children to achieve both personally and academically,” said Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero. “As a parent myself, I am provided with comfort knowing our children’s physical and emotional safety is a priority in Nevada.”

School districts received awards that will be dedicated to their neediest schools based upon the school’s application and their scores from a recent school climate survey taken by students.

“This award is significant and will assist our district schools in fully supporting and implementing the governor’s goals and initiatives regarding school climate and bullying,” said Dr. Tammy Malich, deputy superintendent of Clark County School District.

Dr. Eddie Ableser, director of the Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment stated that funding is the early stage for everyday change.

“This grant lays the foundation for paradigmatic change for Nevada’s students. We are emphasizing that an investment in our children’s social and emotional health and safety reaps massive dividends in their academic achievement.”

Schools will be able to apply again for the Social Workers in Schools Block Grant this summer for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

 

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