Sending your child to school is an exciting event for many families and going to school should be looked upon favorably by each child. In our schools, students learn valuable social, as well as academic skills that will prepare them for all aspects of life. School is also the place where teachers and school staff are able to share their enthusiasm for learning and, with parent input, get to know each individual child and family. Thus, the school/home partnership is important for all students; however, for those students who have exceptional needs related to social and/or emotional development it is vital.
For students who have difficulty interacting with others, feeling connected, and/or encounter learning problems at school, the experience can be a source of anxiety and stress for all involved. Over time, negative life experiences can have a negative effect on the positive outcomes that our schools want for each student. Students who have significant mental health needs frequently find it difficult to navigate the demands of life, including both home and school demands, and for those individuals it is necessary to provide a comprehensive system of school mental health supports including school-based assessment, intervention, and counseling.
The school/home partnership in conjunction with a full system of school mental health support is an opportunity for school staff and families to work together to ensure that the child is able to benefit fully from their educational experience. Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267) school psychologists and school social workers, along with local school counselors, nurses, and other school-based staff are prepared to support a variety of student needs and, when necessary, are able to provide linkages to other community service providers.
This school year or in future years to come, please contact your child’s school if you have any concerns regarding his or her social, emotional, or learning development. Our schools strive to promote the development and growth of your child so that he or she may thrive in life! Iowa’s Area Education Agency staff, in collaboration with local school educators, are here to ensure that every child has a system of support for mental health needs that can be counted on.
Chad Pinkston is a School Psychologist with Area Education Agency 267. Pinkston is based out of the AEA 267 Marshalltown office and can be reached at 1-800-735-1539. Area Education Agency 267 serves over 60,000 students. In addition, over 5,000 educators rely on AEA 267 for services in special education, school technology, media and instructional/curriculum support. The agency’s service area reaches 18 counties and nearly 9,000 square miles.