Reimagine Schools / Wrap Around Programs at J-HES making a difference

The Jackson Parish School Board (JPSB) held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting at the Jackson Parish School District (JPSD) Central Office on Monday, March 13th. Featured on the agenda was JPSD Student Support Coordinator, Rebecca Womack, and Jonesboro-Hodge Elementary School Counselor, Tristen Bergholtz.

The pair gave an informative update on the Reimagine Schools and Wrap Around Programs that are in place at J-HES to members Gerry Mims, Rick Barlow, Paulette Belton, Dennis Clary, Mary Saulters and president Calvin Waggoner, who applauded the progress and results both programs have achieved. Wade McBride was absent.

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) announced the launch of the Reimagine School Systems program in September 2021. Thirty one school systems across the state, including the JPSD, originally shared in a $35 million grant, that in 2022 was increased to $40 million. The program encourages school systems to create new, bold educational opportunities that would expand possibilities for students. 

Reimagine Grant Project Coordinator Womack started the presentation by recognizing contributions provided by civic partners Hodge Strong Foundation, Jackson Parish Hospital, One TeleMed, Tiger Clothing Closet (Lexi’s Closet), Miles for Smile Dental Clinic, Pine Belt Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency along with parents and community leaders. 

Wrap Around Services Counselor, Tristen Bergholtz then took the floor providing uplifting information on how innovative small group and individual student academic counseling sessions have dramatically improved semester grades and decreased discipline problems. 

Bergholtz then complimented the Hodge Strong Foundation for helping provide improved nourishment for the students through their Backpack Meals Program and the Tigers Closet for helping provide clothing for students in need. This was followed by recognizing the school administration, led by Principal Danielle Copeland, for coordinating engagement events that has proven to be effective in creating improved parental participation and a decrease in unexcused student absences. 

Events and activities identified were Grandparents Thanksgiving Meal, Wellness Enrollment, Spelling Bee, Homecoming, Mardi Gras Parade, Town Hall meeting with the Mayor and the creation of a boys and girls basketball team.

The Wraparound Services Program is a team-based, collaborative process for helping children and youth with behavioral health needs. Families learn to identify and use their strengths and community resources are incorporated to address their individual needs.

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