Bement School Board Meets Virtually for January

By CHRISTY JANKOWSKI
Staff Writer

For the January meeting once again, Bement held their school board meeting virtually through zoom.

There are seven students currently out for Varisity Scholastic Bowl which is being held virtually with Rachel Riley-Halliday as their sponsor. Their season began last Thursday.

Only 13 students versus the over 60 students are remote for the second semester using the Educare program.

The Sangamon Valley CEO Program is still meeting with Lisa Sheppard as the facilitator and they present to the Juniors on January 14. The program has two students from Bement in it: Sam Dalton and Faith Bailey. This is the second year of the program.

Dr Greenwood’s Report

Greenwood started out her report stating, “Basically, I’m just gonna say we’re really pretty stoked and excited to have a lot of our kids back so that’s been good. Otherwise we’re still very limited on what we’re, what we’re doing. I talked to some teachers today, our administrative team and we talked about the fact that next year is certainly going to be a celebration of so many things that we’ve taken for granted that we can’t do this year.”

She then introduced Tony Kirman, the Director of Piatt County Mental Health. Kirkman gave stats about depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. He stated Pre-COVID they performed a Illinois Youth Survey 8th-12th graders. Around 43 percent were experiencing depression.

Around 20 percent stated they had considered sucide or had thoughts of suicide. He stated more than half of those they are serving have depression or anxiety related needs. However, he stated that with COVID, the need has increased. “And some of the national stats that you’re seeing… you know, kids were already stressed out and already anxious. COVID has added 30% on top of that, and so it’s quite concerning.”

Bement has an in house therapist, Louanna Miller. And she averages around 4.9 sessions today according to Kirkman. “ Also, just have to take my hat off to Dr Greenwood; she has been one of my most favorite allies in this county from day one. And normally when I come to

Bement and I say, I have an idea for a project she’s, you know, once it’s vetted says what, let’s try it here.”

One of those project ideas was a Vape take back day. Kirkman stated, “Was it okay to bring a vape devices school if I plan to put it in receptacle? And we had 13 devices collected in that, in that initial drive Bement is the leader in that we’re looking to possibly do that in other school districts, but Bement is the leader on that.”

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