Jan 29, 2018, New London (CT) Day: East Lyme school board adopts superintendent’s budget http://www.theday.com/local-news/20180129/east-lyme-school-board-adopts-superintendents-budget The Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to adopt the superintendent’s proposed 2018-19 budget of $47.7 million, or 2.59 percent more than this year’s spending plan. … Newton presented data that showed that last year, there were more than 30 mental health/crisis intervention occurrences at East Lyme High School and about 27 at East Lyme Middle School. Based on the number to date, the school district projects there will be a "significant increase" in interventions this year. Director of Student Services Kimberly Davis defined a crisis as suicidal thoughts or plans, spending prolonged periods of the school day with counselors, depression, or suspected abuse or neglect. At the elementary level, students "with the highest needs are seen individually so little to no small group intervention is available," according to the presentation. When crisis support is needed, staff may have to travel and leave their current location without coverage, Newton said. “We are in a reactive mode, not a proactive mode,” Newton said. “We want to get to a proactive mode.” Under a proactive model, social workers implement prevention programs and provide early intervention services for at risk students, among other steps, while a school psychologist does comprehensive psychological evaluations and develops individualized plans for students, among other services, according to the presentation. … During the Board of Education meeting following the hearing, First Selectman Mark Nickerson spoke in support of the mental health initiatives. He said that unlike other towns, such as Waterford, whose youth services' departments have the infrastructure to offer mental health support, East Lyme youth services offers socializing and trips, but doesn’t have the infrastructure for mental health services….