Excelsior Springs School District wrapped up its first full year of using The Clay County Children’s Services Fund. We are grateful to the patrons of Clay County and the impact that this fund has made on our school district in a short time.
Our initial grant cycle began in December 2018 and ESSD was able to secure $300,000 for unique services for our students. These services range from prevention – such as suicide awareness, education in bullying and self-regulation – to responsive services, such as counseling, case management, therapy and behavior intervention.
Services this fund facilitates have stretched from our youngest learners at the Early Childhood Center to our high school students, and we have been pleased with how we have progressed on our proposed outcomes. The following is from the November quarterly report to the Clay County Children’s Services Fund Board:
“As we have worked to allocate these funds for our students, we have recognized needs that could be met with the services fund in the future. Attendance has been a focus for the ESSD this school year. We recognize that, in order to meet the needs of our students academically, we must also meet their social-emotional needs, but the uniqueness of this fund is the opportunity to meet those needs right here in the heart of the school day. The biggest challenge we have encountered is struggling attendance. We cannot meet these needs when students are not present.
“With this imperative in mind, we will seek to utilize the funding toward attendance measures, placing a concerted effort on ensuring students are present to benefit from this funding source. As students receive these services, they will be more prepared for the challenges of education; they will experience success and desire to be in attendance to reap these benefits.
“Our district social Worker, Kim Curtis, has been instrumental in determining students who would benefit from what this fund has to offer and working to get them to school to reap those benefits. Curtis has shared stories about how the fund is touching students. One powerful impact story that has resulted from this funding and has given credence to the relationship between attendance and success is of a sixth-grade student. The student had 80% attendance last year and began receiving therapy through the children’s fund. This year, the student has perfect attendance, which is 100% attendance and wants to be at school every day.
“This is just one of the stories of how students are impacted by the Children’s Services Fund. There are many more to speak of, and as we grow and learn through this process, we are discovering new ways to support kids. One such way is the addition of a second district social worker. We are excited to have Nikki Fryer join Curtis in this important work, assisting in student attendance and the decisions on how the funding can impact our kids in meaningful ways.
“The benefits of this funding are far-reaching and we are grateful to the patrons of Clay County for placing value on the needs of our students.”