COLUMBUS – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria recently launched a new Student Wellness and Success website that provides resources for schools as they plan how to best provide for students’ wellness needs.
“Ohio’s children are facing unprecedented challenges, and they are bringing these challenges into the classroom. That’s why I worked with the legislature to create a new $675 million fund called Student Wellness and Success, designed to help meet the social and emotional needs of our students,” said Governor DeWine. “This new website is designed to be a tool for schools as they begin their work with community partners designing Student Wellness and Success programs to meet their students’ needs. A student’s overall wellness impacts their ability to learn, and, with a new focus on meeting these needs, we can encourage a lifetime of success for Ohio’s kids.”
“Today’s website launch provides a terrific opportunity for schools to access helpful information as they implement Student Wellness and Success Funding,” Superintendent DeMaria said. “I encourage school leaders and parents to check out the fantastic resources available to them on this site and to continue to engage with community partners and the Department of Education in our joint effort to support the needs of the whole child and their mental health.”
While these funds were intentionally designed to give school districts maximum flexibility, Governor DeWine is encouraging schools to establish new programs and expand on existing behavioral and physical health care services in schools and wrap supports—such as mentoring and afterschool programs—around our students. For example:
* Communities that lack access to healthcare services may choose to retrofit existing building space into a community health clinic and contract with a local health system to provide clinical care for students and their families.
* Communities experiencing high rates of mental illness may opt to partner with their local alcohol drug and mental health board or a community-based treatment provider to ensure students have access to behavioral health services right in their school.
* Other communities that lack safe afterschool options for students may choose to partner with afterschool providers to create programs for their students.
The website includes information for school leaders about how the funds can be used and when the funding is available. In addition, the website provides examples for schools of proven programs and resources as they develop their student wellness plan. The website, accessible at Education.Ohio.gov/WellnessAndSuccess, will continue to be updated as new guidance and resources become available.