Mental health at the forefront of Lewisburg school initiative

SUNBURY — The start of another school year is upon us, and with that comes new plans, and new programs.   Dr. Steve Skalka, superintendent at Lewisburg Area School District says their previous strategic plan called for, and they were able to implement, some big changes, “Full day care-garden, and pre-school program at Kelly Elementary. We know the importance of early childhood education, on getting kids off to a good start. So ensuring that our 4-year olds had an opportunity and our 5-year olds in kindergarten were there for a full day I think was very, very important.”


Another program implemented included giving every student a tablet or laptop, “We introduced technology as a part of regular instruction. It’s no longer that you sign out a computer lab and maybe went down once a week. Instead we have a one to one initiative for kids ages 4-12.”


Specifically, Dr Skalka says grades 4 and 5 will get a tablet, and grades 6 – 12 will get a laptop.


Another important issue that came up at schools across the country over the past few years is social and emotion health among students, he says the district’s responsibility to try and bring stability to the student body, “We’re seeing a lot of students who are coming to us, maybe having experienced some trauma in their lives, or some instability, whether that be economic instability or others, and we need to take care of those students, we need to take care of all of our community.”


Dr Skalka says their goal is to support each and every one of his students, “We’re going to ensure that every student has a trusted adult that they can go to from the time they enter the building to the time they graduate.”


You can hear the full conversation with Dr Steven Skalka at the On The Mark podcast page, or visit WKOK on Apple Podcasts or Google Play and subscribe.

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