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
Marathon City School District
Marathon County Child Development Agency (MCCDA) Head Start
Minocqua J1 School District
North Lakeland School District
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