GHEC talks about mental health options |  News, Sports, Jobs

GHEC talks about mental health options | News, Sports, Jobs

GRANADA– On Thursday evening, the Granada Huntley East Chain (GHEC) school board met for their first meeting of the school year and during the meeting they discussed how the year had progressed so far and made plans for the coming weeks.

Shortly after the meeting began, the board heard a report from middle and high school principal Taylor Topinka.

Topinka reported that the teacher training and the orientation of the students had gone well. Since last year, the district has again split between two weeks of school workshops and reverted from a numerical grading system to a traditional literate system. Topinka also cited improving access to university-level courses as one of his goals during the school year. The principal said he was pleased with the results of the district’s newly implemented cell phone policy so far, but noted that it was still very early in the school year.

Regarding the start of the school year, Topinka said: “I’m constantly impressed by the excellent students and community support we receive and as we begin another year, I’m naturally excited to get started.”

Topinka announced the addition of a new school-based therapy option for GHEC students. Beginning September 13, a mental health professional will conduct therapy sessions for students who may not otherwise have access to counseling or other mental health services. The provider is not a full-time employee of the district and would hold sessions at school one day a week.

In response to Topinka’s report, Chief Inspector Doug Storbeck has notified the board of the district and the elementary department.

The district is still unable to obtain the 21 missing Chromebooks that were undergoing maintenance when the maintenance company went bankrupt. While the district expects to receive these devices eventually, it has plans to order replacement devices to maintain existing inventory. Storbeck also announced plans to discard and replace some older or damaged Chromebook cases.

Storbeck also noted that the total tender remained largely the same. Overall, the district has five more students enrolled in K-12 compared to this time last year.

After receiving the reports, the board proceeded to discuss action points.

During the current school year, the board approved long-term replacement contracts for kindergarten teacher Niki Lewis and paraprofessional Melissa Engel. They also designated the Dec. 8 school board meeting at 6 p.m. as a public hearing to discuss the district’s budget and property taxes.

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