South Middleton School District Receives $ 15,000 Grant to Help Homeless and Transient Students | Education
As of spring 2021, 15 students in the district fit that description, up from three in 2018, Smith said. It is difficult to say whether the five-fold increase was due to the school district’s greater efficiency in identifying students or to actual economic and social conditions, he said.
“I think we’re better at identifying students who have insecurities at home,” Smith said Monday. “We have a social worker who can delve into family situations and understand all the factors and components that can lead to these insecurities. She will play a major role in determining how this [grant] money will be allocated.
There are no plans to use the $ 15,000 grant money to fund the social worker position, Smith said. Instead, this expense will be taken from the district general fund budget.
In May, Smith warned against using COVID relief money or short-term grants to fund what should be a long-term post.
“What we’re trying to put in place are not band-aids to solve some problems with learning loss or mental health,” Smith said. “We’re trying to establish a ubiquitous K-12 system so that when students have needs, there is support for them.”
He described the social worker position as an expert in building partnerships and as “the glue” between school, home and community.