WADSWORTH — Board members voted unanimously Monday to make a recently established mental health committee consisting of district faculty and administrators a permanent committee.
“We have a committee that is newly formed, they have held one meeting with the purpose of trying to work through and find where we have gaps and what is needed in regards to mental health of the students,” Superintendent Andrew Hill said during Monday board meeting.
Hill said the committee is headed up by Assistant Superintendent Gabe Tudor and Director of Student Services Joyce Walker.
“We have only had one formal meeting as a mental health committee,” Tudor said Tuesday. “(The committee) includes the student services director, myself, Dr. Hill, and most of the building principals and all of the counselors that are in our district.”
Hill said during the board meeting that at least three board members expressed interest in participating in the committee, which would necessitate that the Mental Health Committee become an official committee.
Student mental health is a subject the board included as one of its goals for the school year, and the change would allow any interested board member to participate in the committee, Hill said.
“Really from my perspective of what would change, are just a couple things,” Hill said.
Tudor said the committee is looking to take stock at how the district addresses mental health among its students.
“I think the board’s goal is aligned with the same things we are dealing with on a daily basis,” Tudor said.
“Our kids mental health needs are continuing to change and that is really what this committee is about; is determining if the structure and resources that we currently have in place are best meeting the needs of our kids, and if they are not what can we do to make sure we can meet the needs of our kids.”
Hill said the committee meetings would be required to be treated as a public meeting, with meeting dates and times made available in advance.
“Anyone would be able to attend, but truthfully if we have people interested in our committees, we don’t turn people away to begin with,” Hill said.
Hill said some modifications might also need to be made to the way minutes are recorded for the committee meetings.
Board member Amanda Gordon said she had some initial concerns that the change would slow down the group’s progress, but after speaking with Hill, she agreed with the idea.
“I don’t see this becoming a board committee in any way, shape or form hindering the work of what the committee is doing,” Hill said.
“I don’t see it slowing down the process of the work the committee is doing.”
The next meeting of the Mental Health Committee is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, at the Charles R. Parsons Administrative Building, 524 Broad St., Wadsworth.