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Portsmouth, NH: District working with mental health professionals 'to identify students' needs'

June 13, 2018, Portsmouth, NH, SeaCoastOnline.com: Portsmouth school leaders talk safety, mental health services http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180613/portsmouth-school-leaders-talk-safety-mental-health-services School officials on Tuesday discussed safety plans, which include advertising mental health services and seeking funds for building upgrades…. School Superintendent Stephen Zadravec opened the school-safety discussion by reporting school officials are working with mental health professionals to identify students’ needs and “how to address them early on.” He said the plan is part of a larger wellness initiative “to better coordinate those kinds of services.” A working group is scheduled to meet next week, Zadravec said, adding he expects the outcome will include an educational component to “make sure people are aware of different services” and determine ways to collect information without violating federal privacy law. The superintendent said there will be discussion about how to collect information centrally and ways for students and families to access support. The School Department’s lawyer, Kathleen Dwyer, is exploring information-sharing as it pertains to privacy law, “particularly when it comes to student mental health and safety,” Zadravec added. Steve Bartlett, the School Department business administrator, reported a request for federal grant funds, to enhance school security cameras, remains pending. Bartlett said the funding request was based on recommendations by Department of Homeland Security inspectors and “if they’re going to make recommendations, they should at least fund it.”…