“There’s a lof of obstacles some of our students come to school with on a daily basis,” explained Pittsburg Superintendent Rich Proffitt. “And they need somebody to come along beside them to be able to overcome those obstacles, to be be able to adapt, and cope with some things they’re seeing in their lives, so that they not only feel safe, but they’re in the right frame of mind.”
Pittsburg School District is taking their students mental health seriously in a new stratigic plan.
“Students have to be in the right frame of mind to learn,” Proffitt continued. “And, so what we call ‘SEAL’: social, emotional and academic learning, is a big portion of what we’re trying to get through with all of our families and students–so that everybody is in the right frame of mind and so that they can learn at the appropriate level.”
They’ll encourage compassion and understanding in classrooms. A new social worker will serve as a resource for their students.
“We have alot of great support services put in place this year, and I’m excited to be a part of that team,” said social worker Susan Russian.
The district recognizes there are many factors that play into student success. They are happy to welcome a new approach that focuses on building trust between students and school staff.
“Sometimes students have a rough time expressing their thoughts and their feelings, and that’s why it’s up to us to bring that out of them–and they appreciate it,” Russian explained. “And you can tell by their academics and their behavior. When it starts improving, then you know you’ve done your job.”
The school district adds they would like to thank their teachers for working with students prior to the addition of the social worker.