This year marks the 10th anniversary of an important organization in our community.
For 10 years, Parents Encouraging Responsible Choices has been leading discussions about student well-being and mental health.
Student mental health and well-being is one of our highest priorities as a school district and we are proud to partner with a volunteer organization such as PERC to ensure this community discussion remains ongoing.
During the past year alone, PERC has organized presentations about topics such as grit, appropriate boundaries, confidence, internet safety, resiliency and more.
The organization consists entirely of volunteers who meet at our central office each month and are supported by guidance counselors and our communications department.
PERC also partners with outside organizations such as Syntero and Nationwide Children's Hospital.
PERC members are solely motivated by what is best for our students. The time commitment these volunteers give to the betterment of our students is an excellent example of leading through actions, not just words.
In addition to their regular programming, PERC is the sponsor of the two District Family Nights each year. Our students' lives are filled with studying and extracurricular activities.
Twice each year, PERC encourages us all to slow down and spend some quality time with our families, again, in the name of student mental health.
As a school district, we are committed to student mental health.
We recently wrapped up our Be Well program in partnership with Hilliard Schools.
More than 1,200 parents attended book talks, author visits, and a daylong conference that featured more than 400 sessions between our two districts.
All of these activities centered around social/emotional learning and development, student wellness, family wellness, digital wellness and social wellness.
We will be adding mental health services and professionals this fall.
The district is committed to providing services that meet the needs of the whole child, which includes instruction and intervention in the area of mental health and wellness.
Our services are based on the individual needs of each student. They range from practices which promote healthy social and emotional development for all students (targeted curriculums to address suicide prevention, substance use, and mental health awareness) to direct services provided by counselors and master level social workers.
Early detection, identification and response to student mental health concerns is paramount. We have embedded in the curriculum several measures that aid us in identifying students who may need additional services.
These are carefully structured through student surveys, staff training on how to have critical conversations with students and get them the help they need, processes for student intervention and ongoing activities which raise student and parent awareness.
This year we have added three guidance counselors, two social workers and one drug and alcohol counselor. In the past three years our mental health services have more than doubled and we will continue to prioritize this incredibly important topic.
Dublin City School District Superintendent Todd Hoadley, Ph. D., submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.