The School District of Arcadia was pleased to welcome Governor Tony Evers, along with the District Administrators from Whitehall, Blair-Taylor, and Independence, as well as members of the District Mental Health Team, and the Elementary School administration to a press conference on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, where the Governor announced additional funding that has been provided by the state through the Get Kids Ahead Initiative.
The total distribution to the four schools of the Trempealeau Valley Cooperative 2.0 was over $80,000, with just under $27,000 of that going to the School District of Arcadia. These additional funds, along with the funds that the School District of Arcadia has received through the Mental Health Grant will help our mental health team continue to offer and expand the mental health education, programming, and services to students and families in our district. In addition, these funds will help promote programs for our staff to help them identify warning signs of mental health concerns so that staff can help become the first line of defense and get our students the assistance they need before a mental health issue becomes a mental health crisis.
While mental health concerns certainly existed before the COVID pandemic, the pandemic caused some of the issues like depression, anxiety, isolation, and separation to become even more pronounced. Students lost connections with friends, they missed out on numerous opportunities, they felt isolated when having to quarantine, and they lost many things that help kids grow emotionally and socially. If there is a silver lining from the pandemic it is that mental health issues and concerns have become more understood and it has become okay to talk about these issues. We have forever talked about the importance of one’s physical health, but we know now more than ever, that one’s mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health.
We would like to thank Governor Evers and his staff for recognizing the continuing importance of mental health well-being and for providing these additional funds to assist with our programs and services. Public education is the key to success for our society and the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional well-being of our kids is of utmost importance. While no dollar amount can solve every problem, the continued support and funding of public education are important and this Get Kids Ahead Initiative is just another example of how we can support the many needs of our students in the School District of Arcadia.