L31salcha

Salcha Elementary School seen Thursday, October 30, 2014. The school was one of 41 schools in the state and the only one in the district to be recently recognized as a High-Progress School by the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. To qualify for Reward status as a High-Progress School the school must be in the highest 10-percent of all schools in the Growth and Proficiency Index and have an average score of at least 95 in the GPI over the past three years for all students. Eric Engman/News-Miner

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development will discuss its annual board report to the Legislature at its quarterly meeting on Dec. 4.

The meeting will be part work session and part business meeting.  The draft report for the Legislature, available in the board’s meeting packet, includes a section on school health and safety, which mentions the recently awarded five-year $5 million federal grant to the department intended to expand mental health services available to students. Funding will go towards facilitating a new partnership in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Superintendent Karen Gaborik mentioned during her state of the schools address earlier this month that the district will be adding social service managers to its social support network, in part to meet students’ social emotional needs.

“The Department of Education in general was just awarded a $5 million trauma recovery grant, which creates a partnership between the school district and the Fairbanks Community Health Alaska Child Trauma Center,” she said. “So it has created five additional clinical social workers that will be hired by Fairbanks Community Mental Health with district coordination.”

The schedules of those workers will be split between the center and schools, according to Gaborik, and they will help provide trauma specific mental health services.

Also on the agenda for the department’s meeting is Mt. Edgecumbe High School graduation requirements, board committee reports, regulations on public comment regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act accountability and assessment regulations, as well as emergency certificates and a guest presentation from Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Alaska, regarding the Mt. Edgecumbe Aquatic Center.

The board’s meeting packet is available at bit.ly/2OmCVrG. The meeting audio will be livestreamed through the Legislative Information Office at bit.ly/2QV0WIg. It will begin taking public comment on agenda and nonagenda items at 1:10 p.m. Oral comment is limited to three minutes per person and five minutes per group. Those outside of Juneau and Anchorage can call 1-844-586-9085. Those in Juneau can call 586-9085 and those in Anchorage can call 563-9085.

Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.

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