More Than a Dozen School Districts in the Northwoods Awarded Behavioral Health Grants

Sep 8, 2020


More than 40 school districts in 31 Wisconsin counties are getting behavioral health grants for this school year.

The b.e.s.t. program has been around for years but may be more important than ever with the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

b.e.s.t. stands for behavioral emotional social traits. It’s online screening tool designed to help educators identify and build the emotional health of students.

More than a dozen school districts in the Northwoods were awarded grants for the program from Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan.

“It’s not diagnostic. It’s not meant to provide that child with the diagnoses in any of these categories but it’s to help them understand, based on the behavior that they see in that class, what they as an educator or other staff, what could I be doing differently to support this child,” Marshfield Clinic Health System Director of Community Allison Machtan.

The b.e.s.t. program has been around for years.  It’s modified slightly every year by the school psychologist that created the tool.

For example, there are certain behaviors school staff might see more of this year because of the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. The b.e.s.t. Summer Institute identified some of the likely behavioral, emotional, and social challenges coming into the school year.

“These things are going to be heightened, giving teachers and school counselors and others tips on ways to address the most likely struggles will come into the school year with which are a little different. Some with be the same, but will look a little different this year,” said Machtan.

The grant comes with technical support, bi-annual screenings for students, training, and consultation.   

Below is a full list of districts in the state that got the grant:

Antigo Unified School District

Arbor Vitae Woodruff (AV-W)

Augusta Area School District

Berlin Area School District

Bruce School District

Chequamegon School District

Chilton Public School District

Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District

Columbus Catholic Schools

Cumberland School District

D.C. Everest Area School District

Durand-Arkansaw School District

Edgar School District

Lac Du Flambeau Public School

Lake Holcombe

Marathon City School District

Marathon County Child Development Agency (MCCDA) Head Start

Minocqua J1 School District

North Lakeland School District

Northland Pines

Osseo Fairchild School District

Port Edwards School District

Regis Catholic Schools

Rosholt School District

School District of Athens

School District of Fall Creek

School District of Flambeau

School District of Mondovi

School District of Tomahawk

School District of Waupaca

Spencer Public Schools

Stevens Point Area Public School District

Stratford School District

Three Lakes School District

Turtle Lake School District

Wausau School District

Webster School District

Wild Rose School District

Wisconsin Heights School District

Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools