Lebanese schools try to talk about school health centers – again | Education

Education officials in Lebanon plan to take questions on Tuesday, February 8, and share their intentions regarding a proposed health center that would be based in a school in the district.

Lebanon’s community school district meeting comes weeks after people sharing fears over rumors about students’ access to hormone therapy or abortions shut down a school board meeting where the topic was to be discussed .

Unlike the first meeting, “take two” will be done online via Zoom, not in person.

“People wanted to talk about it,” said district communications and e-learning director Susanne Stefani. “We wanted to share. And none of that happened.

Rachel Cannon, coordinator of the interconnected systems framework for community schools in Lebanon, is again to present what the school health center would provide to students in the district.

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The meeting will also feature Marty Cahill, CEO of Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, and Dana Kosmala, a pediatrician, to represent the medical providers who would run the proposed clinic, Stefani said.

The forum is the center’s first opportunity to comment since Jan. 13, when the district board couldn’t keep commentators on schedule and closed the meeting.

Above all, Stefani said, district leaders want to tell their community that school health centers will likely help students attend and pay attention in class by providing health services they may not always be able to access.

Some students find it difficult to manage their relationships with friends and family. Some are busy coping with traumatic experiences, she said, and coping with mental health issues often prevents students from excelling in school.

Some students would travel to medical providers if they had transportation or took time off work and cared for family.

“Students can’t concentrate. They cannot learn. Their success is hindered when they have unmet health needs,” Stefani said.

Nearly a third of students in grades 5 through 12 in districts served by health centers said their mental health was less than good, according to state data. More than four in five students said they had health needs that they could not or had not been able to meet.

The Oregon Health Authority’s health center program has seen 78 centers set up in 25 counties. Linn County is one of 11 counties in Oregon and the only county in the Willamette Valley without a school health center.

Stefani thinks schools are no longer a place where a teacher stands in front of a classroom and teaches a lesson, she said.

After the January 13 board meeting, the district responded with information about the health center on its website. People wondered how health was the responsibility of schools, she said. The questions seem to have gradually moved away from the reproductive health of the students.

“There’s just a lot of anxiety and fear and frustration right now. And that’s shared by almost everyone, but for different reasons,” she said.

Stefani understands the reluctance of some Lebanese. In the opinion of some parents, she said, health centers in schools may not be suitable for their child. But there are also children who need the clinic.

“It’s not something we would want to do if we didn’t have broad support from our school board and the community,” she said. “We are part of the community.”

The meeting is scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Maria J. Book