The College Community School District is
dedicated to developing the “whole child” and allocating resources to support
the social, emotional, and behavioral health needs of all students. In doing so, we increase the academic success
of our students and have a lifelong positive impact on their resilience.
In our commitment to “Success for All”, we
have been planning for the expansion of services to our students through the
use of state at-risk funding, federal Title IV funding, and the General
Fund. Many of our students experienced
great hardships during the school closure, making the expansion of these
services that much more important as we prepare for the school year ahead. We are excited to share the following
additions with you.
The role of the school nurse and school health
services have changed significantly in recent years. A greater number of
students are experiencing more complex physical and mental health conditions
and higher rates of comorbidity (the presence of two or more chronic
conditions). A student’s health can
impact every part of their education and so planning for students’ health needs
is essential. School systems rely on the
expertise of their school nurses, and school nurses’ connections to other
medical professionals, to guide the healthcare of children in the educational
environment. Over the past two years, we
have increased the amount of nursing services at several schools and added a
school nurse position serving Prairie Delta, Prairie Edge, and the preschool
programs at Prairie ECC.
For the 2020-2021 school year, we have added
support for the nursing team through the establishment of the Health Services
Supervisor who coordinates health services at College Community and provides
leadership for our district nurse team.
Colleen Elliott, who has served CCSD as a school nurse for the past
eight years, assumed this position on July 1.
Ms. Elliott and the school nurses of CCSD will
be an integral part of our planning for a safe and healthy return to school in
the fall for both students and staff.
College Community is fortunate to be located
in a city with several organizations that focus on improving the lives of
children and their families and whose dedicated professionals believe in the
power of partnering with our schools.
Over the past several years, our district has established relationships
with a variety of local agencies and organizations including Four Oaks, Tanager
Place, Foundation 2, Mercy Behavioral Health, UnityPoint, Linn County Public
Health, Safe Schools CRCA, HACAP, the University of Iowa, and others.
Two Community Engagement Specialists will
continue to build these partnerships in the years ahead and foster new ones as
well. Jess Fitzpatrick will join the
CCSD team during the 2020-2021 school year.
Javier Rivera has previously worked as our district’s Homeless Liaison
and will now work in this expanded capacity.
Ms. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Rivera will collaborate
with school staff such as school counselors, building facilitators, school
nurses, and principals. They will
support a variety of student needs including housing and food insecurity,
foster care placement, substance use disorder treatment, support for mental
illness, and juvenile court involvement.
Mr. Rivera will also connect with the teachers and students of the
English Language Learner program (ELL) to provide specialized support for our
immigrant and refugee families.
CCSD and Tanager Place first partnered
together with the creation of a pilot program at two schools during the
2016-2017 school year. We have steadily
expanded programming throughout our schools over time and will be establishing
new school-based therapy programs in the fall at Prairie Edge and Prairie
Delta, as well as with our youngest students at Prairie’s Early Childhood
Center. Therapists of Tanager Place’s
school-based program provide therapy services directly to students at school,
collaborate with educators to support students’ mental health needs across the
school day, and connect with families to address needs at home. Tanager Place directly bills students’ health
insurance providers for therapy services.
Additional services provided by school-based therapists are funded
through a combination of Title IV and At-Risk funding, as well as a generous
contribution from United Way of East Central Iowa. All schools for the 2020-2021 school year
will have a half- or full-time school-based therapist as a part of their school
Resource Officer (SRO)
many years, the College Community Schools has partnered with the Cedar Rapids
Police to provide a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Prairie High School. This year, we are expanding our district SRO
program to Prairie Point. As the largest
Middle School in the state, serving over 1350 students, the allocation seeks to
utilize the special training and expertise which law-enforcement officers
possess that is well-suited to effectively protect and serve the school
community. SROs contribute to the
safe-schools team by ensuring a safe and secure campus, educating students
about law-related topics, and mentoring students. Our SRO program at CCSD seeks to:
- Facilitate communication
between the College Community School District and Emergency Management
Officials in times of community crisis or in events in the community that
threaten the safety and regular operation of campus and building activities.
- Be a resource to students to
answer questions related to law and law enforcement, including class
presentations and visibility at school and school events.
- Regularly make
recommendations to school officials on systems, structures and strategies for
school and campus safety, threat assessment, and threat mitigation through
participation on school safety committees and initiatives.
The School Resource Officer will not be involved in daily discipline of students. For a full description of program outcomes for School Resource Officer Programs at College Community, please click here.
school community that serves on-site over 7,000 students, staff and adults on a
daily basis within a small geographical area, we see the benefit of partnering
with local agencies, including law enforcement, in our goal to provide a safe
learning environment for all members of our campus.