Newtown Schools Will Bring In National Experts On Traumatic Stress In Children
NEWTOWN, Jan 24, 2013 (The Hartford Courant - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
School officials have invited national experts in traumatic stress in children to come talk to teachers, parents and, in some cases, students, who survived the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Superintendent Janet Robinson said experts from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network were invited to town to devise a long-term plan for counseling students.
Robinson told the school board Wednesday night that the experts might arrive as early as next week from as far away as California.
Students who attended Sandy Hook Elementary are now bused to the Chalk Hill School in Monroe, a middle school that had been empty and idle until it was thrust into service as a surrogate for Sandy Hook.
The Newtown school system currently has 11 mental health workers who are assisting temporarily, and additional counselors are available for some classes, Robinson told the board. The school system wants to have a plan to provide mental health services to educators and students after the temporary workers stop providing their services.
The town hasn't established how long it will take for the experts to conduct their analysis. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network was established by Congress in 2000. It is funded by the federal Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The network is coordinated by Duke University and the University of California-Los Angeles and is designed to provide a comprehensive approach to helping children who have been through traumatic experiences, including school shootings, according to information on its website.
Separately, school board members learned Wednesday that school administrators are communicating with their counterparts in Monroe to discuss how to pay for expenses at Chalk Hill.
For example, Newtown will pay for oil to heat the school, the board learned Wednesday. Some of the cost to provide electricity to Chalk Hill school will be donated by Connecticut Light & Power, Newtown schools' Director of Business Ron Bienkowski told the school board.
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