By Richard Bammer
Educators have long believed that keeping kids interested and focused in the classroom can stem the dropout rate, an idea confirmed by recent Solano County, state and U.S. Department of Education statistics that reveal four-year high school graduation rates have increased over the past decade, topping 80 percent in many school districts.
The key is meeting students’ academic, social and emotional needs. But, in the first two decades of the 21st century, marked by a tragic series of school shootings and other daily toxic stress, it is the latter aspect that is getting more attention from school leaders, counselors and teachers, said Kim Govi, foster and homeless youth program manager for the Solano County Office of Education in Fairfield.
“There is an increasing focus on mental health and it has become a priority in Solano County,” she said Wednesday at the Golden Hills Community School wellness center on Clay Bank Road in Fairfield, which celebrated a ribbon-cutting event earlier in the morning. “We are expanding mental health services and support.”