Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.

Our schools are increasingly confronted with the diverse social and emotional needs our students bring to our classrooms each day.

Often times, our students come to us with behavioral and mental health needs that impede their best learning. We are committed to serving the “whole child.” We have readily accepted our responsibility to work with our students, their families, and community health and student support organizations to help our students overcome their unique challenges.

To address the mental health needs of our students, we are implementing a School-Based Mental Health model in which licensed mental health professionals come directly to our schools to address the needs of students who require this support. These services supplement the counseling and behavior specialist support we provide in our schools.

This winter and spring, we partnered with the Kelso School District, the County Health Department, Great Rivers Behavior Health Organization, and local mental health service providers to refine the school based mental health service model. We are working to create a system that is focused on efficiently and expediently getting mental health services to our students at their school.

We believe that by bringing these services to the child, at their school, we have a much better chance of getting our students the mental health support needed for future success. By addressing these needs, we will be able to more effectively meet the academic needs of our students.

Our district’s primary goal will always be to increase student achievement. However, we recognize that our secondary goal to improve our schools’ climate and culture plays a significant role in increasing achievement levels. We are grateful for the partnerships with our local mental health community to meet this end. This partnership holds great promise as we continue to increase the academic achievement levels of our students. Their support in helping us meet our students’ mental health needs is essential if we are to truly serve the “whole child.”