Batesville School District uses COVID relief money to focus on mental health

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - School districts all over Region 8 are trying to figure out how to handle the pandemic. Still, the Batesville School District is also worried about another often overlooked issue: mental health.

The Batesville School District uses COVID relief money more than just disinfectants by offering free one-year memberships to Batesville’s Community and Aquatic Center.

The memberships will be offered to students in seventh to twelfth grade but will also be available to all staff in the school district.

“People need an outlet,” said Dr. Michael Hester, superintendent of Batesville School District. “So that was our catalyst on how we take care of our staff and students, and how we care for each other.”

The school district is hoping that this will improve the health of its students and help out when it comes to the classroom.

“It definitely impacts their stress level and their ability to concentrate, and thus impacts to stay focused in the classroom.” said Sandy Daniels, the school-based mental health coordinator for Batesville School District.

The program will also give opportunities to students who may never have access before due to financial barriers.

“It’s an equity issue to make sure that no matter what your status is, that you have the same opportunities, or that you have the same privileges and things that can work for your mental and physical health.”

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