Investing in social and emotional learning investments is one of the ways that the Corvallis School District is taking action to support positive relationships and emotional connections in our schools.
Starting this September, all elementary schools will be staffed with a master’s level Mental Health Therapist and a Mental Health Skills Trainer. These staff will be part-time at each building, though all of them will be full-time District employees, working in multiple buildings. Within each building program, staff will provide individual, group, and family therapy as well as skills training services to students identified and self-referred from the building. All Mental Health and Wellness staff will report to Joe Leykam, the District’s new Mental Health Program Manager.
Mr. Leykam was hired last spring to develop and manage the District’s Mental Health and Wellness program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Michigan State University. He has worked in many clinical settings across the state for 15 years.
“My goal is to build a system of supports for a diverse community and remind students, families, and staff that together we can foster hope and healing in our schools.” He started with the District in April and hit the ground running. “We have hired 4 master’s level Mental Health Therapists and 4 Mental Health Skills Trainers and will be joining school teams before students return to school next fall.”
There will be a formal process for referral and enrollment in the District Mental Health and Wellness Program. The specialized, individual treatments are a suite of Targeted Services.
In addition to Targeted Services, the Mental Health and Wellness staff will be engaging in school-wide services. While these new staff will not affect the normal functions of school counselors or social workers, they will provide a new set of services to support students.
These staff will also work alongside the Special Education team to launch a Social-Emotional Growth (SEG) classroom. This classroom is for students who need direct instruction in specialized emotional and cognitive skills. It will be located at Mountain View Elementary. The students will continue to have regular contact with their “home school” to ensure that when they are ready to return, it will be a smooth process. The District is extremely excited to implement these new programs in support of student health and well-being.