Oelwein, IA: School board proposes therapy dog, more counselors for mental health help

Nov 22, 2017, (Oelwein, IA) Cedar Valley Daily Times: School board touches on mental health plan—Members look at plan to be inclusive for all grade levels …After the FFA presented superintendent Josh Ehn mentioned that there was a push to bring in a therapy dog to help students. That led into a large discussion of the state of mental health in the school. Ehn presented three plans to the school board with creating a new approach to mental health in schools. Each board member brought up his or her concerns and ideas when it came to approaching mental health. Ehn explained each option in detail and noted that out of the three, one is being recommended by a mental health institute. … Pre K through fifth grade would have one counselor and one at-risk counselor. The same would be done for grades sixth through eighth. The high school would not have an at-risk counselor, but two counselors. Although this plan was suggested, board members had their own thoughts. They mostly agreed with the plan, except they were worried about the workload for the high school level. A few voiced concerns about the high school not having enough time to focus on the needs of the students and suggested that a secretary might be hired to help with the more day-to-day operations. Before any decision is made Ehn wished to visit other schools in Iowa and try to glean ideas from them and their guidance counselors….