The West Geauga Board of Education approved the establishment of the new Student Wellness and Success Fund last week.

Treasurer Karen Penler of the West Geauga Local School District said the fund comes from House Bill 166 under Gov. Mike DeWine, which was passed in July. The H.B. 166 provides $675 million to help districts with wraparound services to students, including dealing with student homelessness, mental health issues, mentoring and other services. West G will receive about $76,000 this year for these student services, said Mrs. Penler. Next year, she added, the district should receive a little more than $100,000.

Mrs. Penler said during the Sept. 23 BOE meeting that the funds will not be included in the district’s five-year financial forecast because they will only be provided for the next two years.

The board is expected to put together a formal plan for the fund use, which Mrs. Penler said will be available in a presentation to the board in October.

Director of Pupil Services Amy Davis explained that she and West Geauga High School Principal Jay Bishop met with a county representative who explained that there is a consortium that will help with assessments to determine what student needs will be met with the funding.

“We have some very severe needs right now around mental health,” Ms. Davis said, adding that the consortium will help with meeting those needs. “We have any number of student needs around their emotional health, whether it’s addiction or anxiety or depression. It’s very, very serious and so we want to be proactive.” Ms. Davis said the assessments will assure that the district can rely on surveyed information to efficiently meet student needs rather than relying on anticipation.

In other financial news, the board also approved two business resolutions involving the purchase of a new plow truck and the approval of a service agreement.

The board approved the purchase of a new RAM 5500 plow truck for the schools at the net sale price of $65,469.50 from Junction Auto of Chardon.

Superintendent Richard Markwardt said the new plow truck will replace a 3500 RAM pickup truck the schools currently use. He added that the new truck allows more flexibility and options in use.

The board also approved a revised service agreement between McKeon Education Group, Inc. (MEG) and the Geauga Local School District. MEG will provide health services to St. Anselm School in Chester Township and will provide a health aid for 178 days of the 2019-20 school year, according to the resolution, for $9,900.

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