WEAU.com: The Eau Claire City-County Health Department released the following news release.
After a year of planning, the Mental Health Matter’s project was awarded funding for the next five years by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The goal of the grant is to promote youth resilience and mental health in the Chippewa Valley. This funding is part of AHW’s initiative focused on improving community behavioral health. As part of its mission to improve health in Wisconsin, AHW supports community projects that lead to improvements in health at the local level.
Locally, eighteen organizations from Chippewa and Eau Claire counties came together over the last year to form the Mental Health Matters Coalition and complete the first phase of the initiative. They found that 28% of local middle and high school-age youth felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row in the last year. To change this, the coalition looked to strategies to build resilience, or the ability of youth to adapt to difficulties. All youth, including those who have a history with adverse childhood experiences, can be supported by factors that increase resilience.
The Chippewa Herald: It’s all about student engagement. If the Chippewa Falls teacher could get her students more involved in the learning process, she thought there was a better chance for them to be successful.
Tina Parker is an interventionist at Southview and Hillcrest elementary schools but received recognition for her previous work as a first grade teacher when she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching on Sept. 8 in Washington D.C.
The award is the nation’s highest honor for teachers in those fields, according to the PAEMST website. President Obama announced the winners of the award from every state Aug. 22.
“As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future,” Obama said in a press release, “these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge.”
The Chippewa Herald:Dr. Heidi Eliopoulos found herself on stage this month at the What’s Right In Education national conference in Chicago. She delivered a key presentation because Chippewa Falls Schools were being honored as the showcase district.
It wasn’t the first time this summer Eliopoulos was in the spotlight. She was also invited to present at the Quality Educator Convention in Madison. Along with Pewaukee Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Sternke and Dr. Melissa Matarazzo of Studer Education, they conducted a joint presentation about continuous improvement processes within schools.
“Heidi presented the story concisely, with excitement, she connected it with the larger picture of public education across the country, she engaged her entire leadership team and was incredibly well received,” said Matarazzo. The Florida-based group works with Chippewa Falls and more than a dozen other school districts in Wisconsin, as well as many others across the country.
Both conferences recognized Chippewa Falls for the success it is having with its strategic plan, and is a direct result of the Community Conversation process the district undertook in February 2014.
The Chippewa Herald: It’s sort of like putting a puzzle together. But fifth-grade students at Hillcrest Elementary are learning storytelling techniques along with computer coding and programing at the same time.
“They really enjoy it,” said Sarah Radcliffe, technology integration coach for the Chippewa Falls School District and a district Google Guru.
She said the district’s first after-school computer coding-programming club has 14 students. The program is designed to give the students exposure to the concepts of computer science at a young age, allowing them to solve problems by getting the computer to do what they envision.
Chippewa Herald: Dylan Goss is going to be nine credits ahead when he starts classes in information technology (IT) programs at Chippewa Valley Technical College next fall. The Chippewa Falls High School senior already has been accepted into CVTC and plans to enroll in the IT-Network Specialist program.
“I eventually plan on getting a second degree from CVTC in software developer too,” Goss said.
That’s when the nine credits he’s earning at the IT Dual-Credit Academy at Chi-Hi will come in handy.
“It’s definitely going to save me some money and some time in classes I won’t have to take,” he added.
Dual credit is nothing new for CVTC and the many partner high schools in its 11-county district that have dual-credit agreements with the college. What’s different at Chi-Hi this year is a cluster of dual-credit classes in the information technology field created at the school, mirroring classes taught at CVTC and taught by a CVTC instructor right at the high school. These courses lead to an IT-User Support Technician Technical diploma.