The Fond du Lac School District has been focused on supporting the whole child for many years. Our school counseling team consists of a counselor at each elementary and middle school, with five counselors at the high school, and two school social workers. Our counseling team works collaboratively with our school nurses, principals, and teaching staff to support our students’ social and emotional needs.
The idea for Fondy CARES started after a grant award in 2018-2019, which led us to offer a number of trainings and supports in our middle schools based on mindfulness, mental health, and suicide awareness. In this work, we completed a needs assessment that showed a need for meeting students beyond what a typical school setting can give, a need for community-based therapies.
We then started our pursuit to bring Fondy CARES to light. The journey consisted of researching and connecting with other districts who have mental health supports within the school setting and the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (WDPI). We reached out to fourteen different community-based agencies throughout the area and interviewed them to find our match. Delta Center, Catholic Charities, Rawhide Youth Counseling & SSM Health are local agencies that have experience working with youth, offer bilingual services, and a variety of payment options to meet our families’ needs.
With the assistance of a grant from Wisconsin DPI totaling $150,000 for the next two years and additional local grants from Fondy100, Service League and Sigma we are able to bring our students and families Fondy CARES.
On October 1st of 2019, we launched Fondy CARES at the following schools: Sabish, STEM Academy and Institute, Theisen and Woodworth. We are excited to announce that as of March 1st, 2020, students and families will have access to Fondy CARES at the following 3 elementary schools: Evans, Pier, and Roberts. And now, starting with the 2020-2021 school year, students and families will have access at Fond du Lac High School as well.