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Perham schools continue increasing available health services

The Perham School Board discussed plans to continue increasing the health services they offer during a board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Exterior front entrance to Perham High School.
Perham High School
Perham Focus file photo
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PERHAM — The Perham-Dent Public School District is moving forward with plans to continue offering specific health services to students who need them, as discussed at the school board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Prairie Wind Middle School Principal Jim Kennedy said the middle school is currently working with counselors to create a "readmission" plan for every student facing disciplinary action. He mentioned that this restorative justice approach will hopefully help counter and mitigate behavioral issues.

"There's always a root to the behavior," Kennedy said during the meeting.

With this new system, the school plans to hold students with disciplinary struggles accountable, help them learn from their mistakes and then move forward. Kennedy mentioned that the middle school also hopes to introduce extra academic support.

The middle school isn't the only place where health services are continuing to be offered in the schools. The board approved a continuation of an agreement between the district and Empowering Kids, a local autism program.

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Students in need of early intensive behavioral intervention (EIDBI) will continue to have access to representatives knowledgeable in EIDBI within the school space. The board also approved a second agreement with Empowering Kids that will provide transition services in the school. Through this partnership, professionals will be able to assist students in transition and employment exploration with the goal to improve long-term outcomes and quality of life.

The board discussed how both of these agreements with Empowering Kids received good feedback last year and were deemed successful.

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Also discussed at the school board meeting were the following:

  • The middle school is starting a student council in conjunction with the high school. The board also approved the addition of a middle school student council advisor.
  • The#ICanHelp digital wellness presentation was a success for students at all grade levels. The high school plans to look over its cellphone policy to consider changes in the future.
  • The final levy was updated and is now a 2.5% reduction from last year.
  • Enrollment is currently sitting at 1,581 students.
  • Behind-the-wheel training will now pay $23.50 an hour to make it comparable to classroom training wages.
  • The next school board meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 5 p.m. in the Perham High School media center.
Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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