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Beavercreek gets $4.5M for student mental health, social worker in each school

Beavercreek High School, one of the schools in the district that will benefit from the near $4.5 million for student mental health services.
Laura Bailey
Beavercreek City Schools
Beavercreek High School, one of the schools in the district that will benefit from the near $4.5 million for student mental health services.

Beavercreek City Schools has received nearly $4.5 million for student mental health services. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education and will be spread over the next four and a half years.

The district will receive a total of $4.48 million. The district will use this money to double the number of its social workers to 11 and to add a social worker supervisor. This supervisor will work with and ensure the social workers will be trained and retained with the district.

Beavercreek City Schools will also partner with a local community based health agency to provide additional care. That partner is yet to be determined.

The grant will also allow for teachers the ability to re-specialize to mental health fields as well as some money for professional development.

“We want our students to be as prepared for the next stage of their life as possible,” Bobbie Fiori, the district’s assistant superintendent, said. “We want to have the capacity to also intervene early and prevent certain things as much as we can.”

Fiori said that the district utilizes a multi-tiered system of support. Tier one is in the classroom with teachers delivering social-emotional learning and whatever assistance they can provide; tier two is small groups or a short-term intervention with the district’s social workers; and finally, tier three would be to involve the community based health agency.

As the district begins to utilize the grant funds, the tier system will be more fleshed out and prepared to meet students at whatever need level is required.

“We’ve learned that more and more kids need social-emotional learning. Some need mental health support. Not everyone needs the same thing, but we wanted to be able to have more supports available for kids in general,” Firori said.

Firori said that mental health struggles are often a barrier to achievement, and being able to address the struggle and provide needed assistance is an important goal for the district.

“I’m so thankful that we received this grant because I think it’s going to be a great support for our families and our students. And that’s who matters,” she said.

Fiori said she hopes at least three social workers and the supervisor position will be filled by the start of next school year.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.