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Palm Coast Tuesday, Mar. 9, 2021 2 months ago

School district to enter agreements with additional mental health providers

Also: District to adopt new English Language Arts materials.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

The Flagler County School Board is entering into agreements with four mental health providers, including one that can assist uninsured or underinsured students via telehealth.

The district’s relationship with these providers will help fill gaps in its provider list, which previously lacked providers that accept ed certain insurance companies, John Fanelli, the district’s coordinator of student supports and discipline, told School Board members during a March 2 board workshop. 

Fanelli said people are becoming increasingly aware of the district’s mental health resources for students.

“We have been working to really get the word out, to bring about 100% awareness of the mental health and social work supports we have for students in our district, and the word is out — it’s working,” Fanelli said. 

So far this year, he added, the district has issued 559 mental health referrals and 750 social work referrals for students. 

“Our team has been working hard to make sure that all of the needs of our students are being met,” Fanelli said.

The provider that will be offering free telehealth for uninsured or underinsured students, Impower, is receiving grant money to do so, Fanelli said. Impower also provides tele-psychiatry services, including medication management.

“This is another level of care that we’ve never been able to provide here locally,” Fanelli said.

District to adopt new English Language Arts materials

Flagler Schools is preparing to adopt new English Language Arts instructional materials. The public review period for the materials ended Feb. 28. Over 200 teachers and staff members provided feedback on the proposed materials, a district staff member told School Board members. 

The shift in instructional materials keeps the district in line with state standards. The district had initially planned to make the change in 2019-2020, but swapped its instructional material adoptions schedule around to wait for English Language Arts standards changes to be finalized. 

The district selected Benchmark as its publisher for K-5 materials and chose Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for grades 6-12. The district expects to spend $1.8 on the materials for next year.

Both sets of materials include online platforms and assessments.

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