The addition of a new position for a mental health therapist/clinician at Oakdale High School was approved by the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees at the March 12 regular meeting.
OJUSD Director of Pupil Services Larry Mendonca reported that OJUSD qualifies for special funding for the position because it operates an Emotionally Disturbed (ED) class at OHS. Funding for the position will be paid to the district out of state mental health funds and it is completely dependent on the continuation of said funds. The district will hire a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT) as a full time employee to provide mental health services to students who have such services stipulated in their Individual Education Plans (IEP). The clinician will be available to students throughout the district, as well as Valley Home, Knights Ferry, and Riverbank, to respond to triage crisis and acute emotional needs immediately.
In other business, it was formally announced that OJUSD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Barbara Shook will retire at the end of this school year.
Several board members commended Shook for her service to the district, making note of her character, her caliber, getting things done and doing them well.
Shook was humble in her response to the praise and reported that she has been in public education for 32 years and private education for five years.
“As long as you keep the kids as the focus, you’ll do the right thing. It’s not always easy, but right,” Shook said, adding that she’s enjoyed her job.
OJUSD Director of Categorical Programs Kristi Rapinchuk will step in to fill Shook’s role after retirement.
The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 23 at the Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Sec