KINDERHOOK–Ichabod Crane High School Principal Craig Shull spoke to the school board August 1 about a satellite mental health clinic proposed for district. Last month the Health and Human Services Committee of the county Board of Supervisors approved opening the clinic at the high school after county Director of Human Services Michael Cole and Mr. Shull talked earlier in the summer about the need for the service.
Mr. Shull told the school board that the full Board of Supervisors still must approve the satellite clinic later this month. The plan would offer a two-day-a-week clinic for students with mental health issues and would operate at no cost to the school district.
“It’s a nice opportunity for us to have this,” Mr. Shull said. He said that counseling and services students need would be “worked through” the health care insurance of the families involved.
“They are going to offer as many services as we need,” Mr. Shull said, referring to the county mental health program.
Schools Superintendent Michael Vanyo said that the district is looking at an October start time for the clinic, which would only be in the high school building at this point.
After the school board gave approval to look into the proposal at a June meeting, Mr. Shull and other district administrators met with Mr. Cole to discuss the plans. “They want to start small,” Mr. Shull said.
“Mr. Cole said we are going to work with the district and their needs,” the high school principal told the board.
Mr. Vanyo said that once the county gets final approval from the Board of Supervisors, the district will get the word out about the clinic.
Asked by board members about other community members using the clinic at the school, Mr. Vanyo said that there is already a satellite clinic in the Valatie Medical Arts building at Route 9 and Main Street in the Village of Valatie that the public can use.
Also at the meeting:
• The board approved a new memorandum of understanding with OK Kids to expand its after-school childcare program. OK Kids will now be allowed to use the primary school gym for a k-through-1st-grade program, adding 20 kids to the 70 the program can already take. Second through sixth graders will still stay at the middle school for afterschool care. The primary school students in that program are bused to the middle school at the end of the day.
Representatives from the afterschool program said they have a long waiting list and that this would help cut that number in half. They can now take 90 in students total. OK Kids is not-for-profit group that uses school buildings.
“It’s a good start us,” said OK Kids board member Michelle Haag, responding to the slots for 20 additional students
• The board discussed board committee assignments, including the Communications Committee and reviewing the voter exit survey taken at the annual budget vote in May. Mr. Vanyo said that voter turnout is historically low all over the state and the surveys might not represent the concerns of most of the district residents. “We just need to be careful if you are looking at it for setting goals,” he said of the survey.
Board member Regina Rose said she thought it was important to look at the survey. “It is the voters who really support the district,” she said.
The next for meeting will be a special session August 22 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .