TWINSBURG — A new director of student wellness will be added to the Twinsburg City School staff, after the school board unanimously approved the job description for the position last week.
Superintendent Kathryn Powers said the position was created in response to standards focusing on student health released in late August to the Ohio Department of Education.
Powers said the state "wants to make sure districts educate the whole child and not just the academic side."
"Our goal is to make sure these guidelines are met," she added. "Any programs you would associate with student wellness will fall under this position."
Powers said that the salary schedule for the position was slated for approval at the school board’s Sept. 25 meeting. However, Powers added that the salary schedule would align with positions such as the curriculum director, a top administrative post whose current annual salary is around $105,000 per year.
According to information posted on the Ohio Department of Education’s website, House Bill 166, passed in July, earmarks $675 million "to help districts and schools support their students’ academic achievement through mental health counseling, wraparound services, mentoring and after-school programs."
The state’s strategic education plan, Each Child, Our Future, focuses on "the needs of Ohio’s students."
"Vulnerable children and youth are students who often encounter challenges in receiving a quality and equitable education," ODE states.
Vulnerable youth are defined as those who may face many barriers to learning, such as traumatization, high mobility or undiagnosed behavioral and health conditions.
"The Every Student Succeeds Act emphasizes educational stability for vulnerable youth," ODE states. "By requiring states to report data on students with disabilities, English learners, homeless students, students with parents in the military and students in foster care, ESSA acknowledges the unique circumstances of vulnerable youth.
"While any group of students identified through a needs assessment can be considered vulnerable, new data reporting requirements under ESSA will help educators identify trends and opportunities to better support their most vulnerable students."
According to the job description approved by the school board, the director of student wellness, who will report to the superintendent, "will be responsible for the design, creation, implementation, evaluation, and monitoring of evidence-based district programs supporting non-academic student success indicators such as social emotional learning programs, restorative behavioral practices, and college and career readiness skills."
Board president Rob Felber said that the district’s administration has done a lot pf hard work already on ensuring the wellness of students.
"We’ve always talked about the whole child," Felber said."We’ve been doing some of this stuff for years. It’s good for students."
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC