The following are live notes from the May 17th, 2023 Wellness Committee Meeting for Hamilton Southeastern Schools. This meeting is done with a couple members of the board and the administration. Meetings are in the public, but don’t allow public comments or participation. The members of this committee are Dr. Juanita Albright (board member) , Tiffany Pascoe (board member), Dr. Yvonne Stokes (superintendent), Katy Dowling, Matt Kegley, Brooke Lawson, Amy Hanna, Karen Ogden.
This meeting is not live streamed or otherwise recorded. The following are “live notes” are from Tweets made live during the meeting by Michelle Fullhart and reproduced here from Twitter. Tweets have had minor editing done and one update from a later tweet was included. Like all “live notes” these are simply a person’s notes from observing the meeting. To get the most accurate information, it is recommended you attend meetings or watch those that are live streamed.
The agenda of this meeting included the following:
- SWOT ANALYSIS REVIEWS
- Karen Ogden-SWOT Analysis
- Amy Hanna- SWOT Analysis
- Brooke Lawson- SWOT Analysis
- SUMMER MEETINGS
- FUTURE MEETINGS
- Mental Health Grant Overview
- DISCUSS/BUILD NEXT AGENDA
The next meeting will be on June 21, 2023 at 3:30pm in the Mudsock Conference Room at Central Office. (Meetings are expected to be on the third Wednesday of each month).
My Note: I assume SWOT is strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The live notes:
- I [Fullhart] missed the beginning of the meeting but walked in as Dr. Stokes was asking for clarity on the goals of this committee. Pascoe wants the Fishers & Noblesville mayors to appoint 2 people to this committee.
- Dr. Stokes has asked for clarity on the goals of this committee.
Pascoe states that they’ve asked the various departments – Mental Health, Food Services & Nursing – for SWOT analysis to know the goals.
(Editor’s comment: So it sounds like the board doesn’t have a goal for this meeting they created.)
- Pascoe states the recommendation is due to a communication gap she perceives. Dr. Stokes and Brooke Lawson stated that they’re in a meet with the city on a monthly basis. Stokes doesn’t want to duplicate services.
Note: I [Fullhart] don’t know of any board committee that has had political appointees.
(Editor’s comment: The Mayor has done mental health meetings with various people from the community including Pastors, schools, and city leaders. I think it has been awhile since the last meeting.)
- Albright: The community has a lot to offer.
Pascoe: lots of untapped potential that’s been brought to the table that hasn’t been used. Conversations happening in silos.
Note from Fullhart: Board President Lang is here as an observer.
- Katy Dowling CFO: cites working with the @FishersHealth to possible have physicals available for students.
Pascoe: Wants Mental Health grant update. Staff was not aware of that request and is not prepared.
- Ogden- Food Services -SWOT analysis:
Strengths: Employees, food services team, student input
Weaknesses: Staff shortages, turnover, COVID burnout, supply chain, low F/R so low reimbursement but non-Free & Reduced buy more ala carte, older equipment
- Opportunities: Relatively high participation but could be better, increasing quality of products, menu app changes, student employment, curriculum possibilities, student buy-in, staff education
Threats: Staff shortages – wages lower than other districts, guideline restrictions, rising costs, non-awareness of program
- Pascoe: Asks for clarification on student participation.
Ogden: No marketing piece readily visible for students.
Discussion on QR codes available for students to see menus. (This is mostly about HS)
- Discussion about using social media, marketing available from food vendors for free.
Input from students is gathered by taste-testing and gathering input. High School kids reluctant to talk.
Pascoe recommends the food vendor manage the taste-testing. Ogden verifies that they do that.
- Student information gathered from Superintendent Student Advisory Committee
Lawson: Her kid’s leg class is writing a letter to Food Services with suggestions.
- Amy Hanna, Nursing:
Strengths: Nurse at each school, work with health coalitions
Weaknesses: Outdated med distribution, volume of students for non-health related issues, vax – lots to track.
Albright asking questions about CHIRP ? vax program and expressing frustrations.
- CHIRP is https://chirp.in.gov a database Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program.
Discussion on state codes that they have to follow, ages vaxes are needed.
Dr. Stokes: We’re discussing helping families to get immunizations.
- Hanna: We’ve had vax programs at schools in the past.
Note: Complicated and confusing issue with lots of state requirements that many parents don’t understand. Doctor’s office not always giving what is needed for proof of vax.
- Pascoe: What percentage of students have vax issues?
Hanna: Lots at the beginning of the year. Deadline for having to have vaxes or exemption. Parents not always responsive until kids aren’t allowed to come to school.
- Hanna: At High School level about 120 kids out of compliance at the beginning of the year.
Pascoe: If we have a vax pop-up, could we get these taken care of in one day?
Hanna: Parent must still register student.
Pascoe: Talking details about emailing parents about notifying parents.
- Hanna: We do send that information out to
Opportunities: Working more with @FishersHealth, mobile dentist at 8 schools, assist immigrant parents about immunizations.
Threats: Staffing, parent/teacher understanding of nurse role, lack of support for ELL students – communication
- Hanna: Community Health has provided language apps for help with that.
- Lawson – Mental Health
Strengths: Continuum of care, partnerships with city & other organizations, focus on whole child, crisis response team, training, screening, supports for students, seen as a leader in Indiana.
- Weaknesses: Caseload – by November they are usually full, caseload is about 50 per student, high school counselor:student ratio, misinformation on the work like SEL & causes issues, amount of time to train teachers – never enough time.
- Opportunities: Additional money from grant to hire more staff, dedicated 9th grade counselor staff – idea of High School principals, continued training for MH staff around best practices & neurosciences, no subs when they are out
- Threats: Students struggling with no support, overwhelmed MH system.
- Focus Day program is discussed. Albright asks the difference between The Academy and Focus program.
- Academy – Alternative high schools
- Focus -For students needing help with emotional needs. Students have IEPs.
- Albright asking more questions about Focus program. Dr. Kegley answering about differences between Academy and Focus.
Note from Fullhart: A work session would helpful for board members on this topic
- Pascoe: Interested in knowing how students are identified for mental health supports. A lot of attention on this. Says she was told a parent reached out to her and said her daughter was wearing a plaid shirt and was asked if she was confused and needed to go to the counselor.
- Fullhart clarified this statement with a follow-up tweet:
Pascoe: Parent contacted her and said daughter was referred to counselor because she wore a plaid shirt. Teacher thought she was confused.
- Questions arise about the truthfulness of that statement.
- Lawson: Referrals aren’t because of plaid 👕.
- Dr. Stokes: Parent should contact HSE. They’ll look into it but don’t address anonymous rumors.
- Pascoe: Regardless of if it’s true or not, it was told to her. We need a list of how kids are identified as a threat to themselves or needing assistance.
- Lawson: I can assure you it’s not due to wearing a plaid shirt. Majority is usually a parent asking for help. Lots of referrals after parent teacher conferences.
- Lang: Are there opportunities for parent education?
Pascoe: Not what she wants. She wants a list of reasons of red flags.
- Discussion of physicians educating parents. Not necessarily great with MH. Doctors asking to do more because of lack of access of MH supports.
Lawson clarifies Pascoe wants a list of risk factors. Talks about mental health first aid training we’ve had in the past.
- Fullhart clarified this statement with a follow-up tweet:
- Note from Fullhart: Listening to Lawson and the knowledge and passion she has for this, for HSE, and the community knowledge/collaboration she does, makes me sad to think she’ll be gone in about a month. Huge hole to fill!! 💔💔💔
(Editorial Note: Ditto. Big loss for HSE, but not surprising after how she and mental health have been treated.)
- Dr. Kegley: We can provide lots of parent training, but we don’t always have good participation from them.
- Meeting wrapping up. Discussion of future dates. Probably a June meeting – the 14th maybe? then a break for the rest of the summer
- Meeting adjourned.
Editor’s note: This is an odd meeting. It seems like board members are trying to solve problems instead of letting the administration to do their jobs. It also seems like they could use a tool to help them identify if there are mental health issues. If only there was some sort of tool that could provide a panoramic view of how kids are doing mentally within the schools….
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