JA leaders seek input on mental health services


(Posted Nov. 20, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Since the first of this year, the Jonathan Alder Local School District has partnered with various agencies to provide mental health services for students.

Now, the district is asking parents and other external stakeholders for feedback on those efforts to meet the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students. The district is acquiring that feedback through a survey prepared by The Ohio State University and the Madison County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

In a letter seeking participation in the survey, Superintendent Gary Chapman wrote that the district has partnered with a broad network of individuals, agencies, and community representatives in an effort to bring increased awareness and support to students, staff and family members.

Services provided include adult and youth mental health first aid trainings, debriefing experiences for staff as they respond to the needs of students and adults in crisis, suicide awareness and education, school-based mental health support, and daily needs assistance. All services are provided to the district at no cost, Chapman said.

Tax renewal 

The district is another step closer to putting an income tax renewal question on the spring election ballot.

After seeking a certificate of need from the state tax commissioner a month ago, on Nov. 9 the school board approved a resolution to proceed with placing the renewal request on the March 15 ballot.

The district is asking voters to renew the current 0.75 percent income tax for 10 years. The income tax, coupled with the district’s property tax, is designed to bring in $2.1 million a year for operating expenses.

The current income tax expires at the end of 2016. Voter approval of this request would allow the tax to be collected at the beginning of 2017.

The resolution now goes to the Madison County Board of Elections. The deadline to place issues on the spring ballot is Dec. 16. Ohio’s primary has been moved from May to March for the presidential election year.


In the past month, Jonathan Alder has received several monetary grants and donations, including $950 from the JA Education Foundation to purchase multiplication table strips to place on the front risers of steps at Plain City Elementary.

Other grants and donations include:

• $500 for the high school band program from the Pavane Club in recognition of the band’s outstanding performance at the Italian Festival parade;

• $100 for the vocal music program from the Madison County Retired Teachers;

• $200 from Curriculum Director Misty Swanger as the PISA coordinator stipend; and

• an iPad Mini from Rob Hayes of K-group R&D Technical Center in Plain City.

Economic Development

The board approved a resolution lending their support to the renewal of the Union County-Marysville Development Action Plan Incentive Policy. The district is one of 15 entities from which the development group needs approval to renew the policy.

The group’s executive director, Eric Phillips, explained that the work of the businesses and corporations have benefitted those 15 entities, and pointed out that those businesses have hired some Jonathan Alder students and graduates.

Student trip

The school board approved a student trip to the EF Global Leader Summit in July 2017. Students will travel to Germany, Austria and Italy to learn how schools operate in other countries. The board’s advance approval gives interested students ample time to raise funds to cover the cost of the trip.

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