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ESU Gets High Marks At FPS

By Gordon Hopkins
This year, Fairbury Public Schools entered into an agreement with ESU 5 (Educational Service Unit 5) to provide students and staff with mental health services for the 2022-2023 school year.
High School principal Seam Molloy gave a report at the FPS Board of Education meeting on Monday, September 12, 2022, “We’re all kind of getting to the point where we’re feeling each other out, how it’s all going work, and I think it’s going well.”
According to ESU 5’s description of the program, “Licensed Mental Health Professionals (LMHP) works with school personnel to identify and help students improve their mental health and well-being. Services include one on one and group counseling, consultation with school guidance counselors and teachers, and training staff on a variety of subjects including trauma, suicide prevention, and mental health conditions in children.”
ESU 5 will be providing services four days a week, for a total cost of $60,000 for the year. That is $15,000 for each day of the week ESU 5 is available.
School Superintendent Stephen Grizzle reported a number of students have already utilized the services, “We’re seeing, I would say half a dozen to 10 high school students, three or four Central Students and a handful of Jefferson students as well.”
Grizzle added, “Kids really seem to be receptive.”
Suicide Prevention
Among the services provided by ESU 5 is suicide prevention training. Molloy said, “We also, at the beginning of the year, (started) QPR training, which stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer, that is suicide training that the ESU 5 conducted with staff.”
Molloy said training is also available for students, “So for seventh through 12th grade that is scheduled for September 27. And it will be broken up into groups of 30. And we’ll have a number of individuals from BSU, doing that training.”
Molloy said he would be sending letters to parents, “I don’t anticipate it being an issue, but giving parents the option to opt out of that if they do not want their student going through suicide training.”


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