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Carroll County, MD Brd of Ed candidates call for more mental health services/school safety

Oct 25, 2018, Westminster, MD, Carroll County Times: Mental health, student achievement focus at Carroll County school board candidate forum http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/education/cc-sga-boe-forum-20181024-story.html On the eve of the start of early voting, candidates for the Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education tackled eight questions from a group made up of those who can’t even vote yet — its student base. Candidates — five of six of whom were in attendance — expressed their views on topics from mental health and school safety to student expression and student preparedness…. School safety and mental health A quarter of the questions asked Wednesday related to either student safety or mental health — especially in terms of anxiety — and the impact on kids in CCPS. Many of the candidates spoke about wraparound services in the schools, though Battaglia also talked about the importance of mindfulness activities. “Mindfulness does help with the anxiety our students are having,” she said. Having holistic approaches — like breathing techniques or yoga — help, and they are resources that are free…. And, he said, there needs to be professional development for teachers and instructional assistants to help students as well. “When kids are distracted … it’s just impossible for them to learn,” he said…. He said the school system needs to bring in behavioral specialists, crisis counselors, psychologists and others who can help. … Dorsey also put a call out for school counselors, psychologists and behavioral supports, citing a recent presentation to the school board about Elmer Wolfe and Taneytown elementary schools who have full-time psychologists, which has dramatically helped with student behavior. “They can help students to deescalate and get a handle on their feelings and make appropriate choices,” she added. …