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DCSD’s new director of Health & Wellness impressed by diversity of District’s programs

CASTLE ROCK – The new director of Douglas County School District’s Health and Wellness Department says she was excited to learn about the many different programs offered by the District—all of which are focused on supporting the physical and psychological health of DCSD students.

“In preparation for my interview, I began digging through the website to learn as much as I could about the District. I said, ‘oh my gosh, they’re already doing that,’” Kantor said. “To walk into this place, was nirvana.”

The former pediatric nurse practitioner and clinical instructor for the University of Colorado says she was impressed by the comprehensiveness of the department, which includes:

  • School Nurse Consultants
  • Prevention and School Culture, including Team U.P. (Universal Prevention)
  • Intervention & Support, including suicide and threat assessments and school counselors
  • Healthy Schools Team
  • Homebound Program for temporarily ill children
  • Homeless Student Liaison
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Team
  • School Medicaid Reimbursement Program

“Truly, we are trying to build a house of health care in a house of education,” Kantor said. “My heart is in this whole department already. These people are so incredible and I’m honored and privileged to be a part of it.”

After less than two months on the job, she is already a passionate supporter of her staff, ensuring, for instance that people understand the true work of the District’s School Nurse Consultants. She says they do so much more than the stereotype. They don’t just bandage scraped knees.

“These ladies are a highly educated, highly experienced group of women. Most of them have ICU backgrounds. One of them is an attorney. Many of them have their master’s degrees. It is an impressive group of women,” Kantor explained.

Each nurse consultant covers a handful of schools, providing training to staff so that they can handle the daily healthcare needs of their students, including administering prescriptions and responding to emergencies.

The Healthy Schools team picks up the effort from there, supporting schools through activities that encourage students to eat well and stay active.

“They provide a menu of options for individual principals and administrators to pick from, whatever fits the culture and climate is at that school,” Kantor explained.

Team U.P. provides a similar menu, but focuses on the psychological health of students.

Kantor says her team is committed to taking care of the whole child.

“If you can provide a child with that safe feeling and happiness, you will create a better citizen for society,” Kantor said.

READ MORE: Personalized Learning aims to meet the needs of the ‘whole child’

Kantor says she understands, first hand, the importance of personalized learning and one-size-fits-one education, because of her son’s experience. He is now 21 years old, but struggled throughout school with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

He attended a different school district, which tried to force him to fit within their system, rather than focusing on his strengths. Kantor says she is excited to be part of an organization that is building systems to support students, like her son.

“It is fabulous,” Kantor said. “Of course there is work left to be done, but it is great that so much already in place.”

January 19, 2016 | By rmbarber | Category: Health Wellness and Prevention

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.