Duquesne City boosts mental health supports for students
Duquesne City School District is moving from a K-6 system to a K-12, and that means providing supports for a new group of middle and high school students. Among other priorities, the district decided that providing mental health resources was key to enhance student learning, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. To meet the need, Duquesne partnered with the Watson Institute to provide a mental health professional on staff who can coordinate and serve as a point person for related resources available within the community. Services provided will benefit students with high need and those who might need someone to talk to now and then.
Superintendent Sue Mariani said in the article that the district used money from the federal COVID-19 relief bill last year to hire a coordinator of behavioral and mental health. This year, a counselor and psychologist will also join the staff.
As part of the district’s positive behavior and intervention support program, it created a store where students can purchase school supplies and small items with “Duke Bucks” for good behavior. It has partnered with the Just Discipline Project at the University of Pittsburgh, which provided a social worker to help with the implementation of restorative practices. It also worked with Communities in Schools to help transition students who had to move to another district for high school.