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Red Zone to aid Leetonia students

LEETONIA — The Leetonia school board has enlisted some help to address the behavioral needs of students for the 2020-2021 school year.

The school board approved a one-year agreement with Red Zone Behavioral Health Services to provide a comprehensive approach to behavioral modification and change for grades K-12 at no cost to the district.

According to Red Zone school liaison Ed Kempers, the organization will provide a licensed therapist who will complete assessment and therapy plus Community Psychiatric Support Treatment (CPST) that supports the therapy. Red Zone will send referral forms home to parents to develop a case load of 20 to 25 students. once the case load is built up to 20 to 25, Red Zone will add a full-time mental health specialist who is trained by the organization for approximately three weeks. The specialist will be a front line worker who helps students get along with others, manage anger and handle intensive situations such as transition between classes in the hallway.

Kempers said Red Zone can train members of the community and past staff to be specialists, who do not have to be certified like the therapists.

Students who need help will be identified either by parent referral, or by coaches and teachers who interact with the student on a daily basis, Kempers said.

Support will be provided in a school setting for students who need it outside of school day, such as those suffering from anxiety, Kempers added. Sessions take place within the school day, he added.

Red Zone is currently serving about 500 students and data has shown they have been effective, Kempers said. The organization provides behavioral services to charter schools as well as those in Youngstown, plus Southern Local and Steubenville school districts. The organization bills parents’ insurance or Medicaid and if it cannot serve a student, that student is referred to an organization that can, he noted.

“We’re not here to judge teachers, coaches or administrators, but to help (the students),” Kempers said.

The Red Zone will work in conjunction with the district’s family liaison employee through the Columbiana County Educational Service Center.

For information about the Red Zone visit www.theredzoneoh.com.

khowell@salemnews.net

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