Free Therapy To Be Offered At Some District 204 Schools

Kids At School
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Indian Prairie School District 204 will be offering free therapy sessions to students at some schools thanks to a grant from the Edward Elmhurst Community Investment Fund.

At last night’s IPSD 204 board of education meeting, instructional specialist Dr. Tara Bell and director of middle school core curriculum Tarah Fowler announced that the district had been awarded the $500,000 grant for its Indian Prairie Cares initiative. IPSD 204 was the only school district included among the grantees.

About The Free Therapy Sessions

The district will contract external licensed clinicians for CARES Clinics, to provide free weekly therapy sessions for students and families. The sessions will be 45 minutes long and take place on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be three clinicians at each location on each of those days, along with two site supervisors from the school. Telehealth options will also be available.

“We are allowing students who need continuation of care to have access up to eight sessions free of charge throughout the school year,” said Bell.

Who Can Partake In The Sessions?

The grant will target underserved populations at specific IPSD 204 schools. Currently the four schools in the district with the highest number of low-income students will get this opportunity. Those are Fischer Middle School, Georgetown Elementary School, Granger Middle School, and Longwood Elementary School.

“We’re hoping, you know, that we will have many families that want to access the services, but we definitely want to reexamine periodically. And if we do have sessions open and can offer it up to families in other schools, absolutely,” said Fowler.

Confidentiality Safeguards

The school district has multiple safeguards to ensure confidentiality.

  • IPSD will not keep or have access to treatment or attendance records of any sort.
  • IPSD will not schedule appointments.
  • IPSD will not take possession of referral forms.
  • IPSD will not take messages for therapists.
  • IPSD will not track the identity of students and families receiving care aside from Site Supervisors (who will not maintain written records).

The sessions at the four schools are set to start on November 29 and go through June 3, with the hopes of adding more schools throughout the year.

The district is also pursuing another grant to enable them to provide Neuqua Valley High School with similar services.

The district will distribute flyers and postcards about the program, referring families to the landing page which will contain all the information.

Naperville News 17’s Anthony Yench reports

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