Submitted by Teri Walawender, Principal of Blue Ridge School; and Tracie Metz, Principal of Blue Ridge Early College
Blue Ridge School and Blue Ridge Early College are thrilled to receive the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation Grant. We appreciate the combined support of our Blue Ridge School Education Foundation, especially Mrs. Kaye Keller. Many gave so much of their time and expertise to prepare and submit the request for funding of a full-time school social worker and a full-time school nurse. While academic growth and personal achievement are the two primary areas of focus, student health and wellness are the keys that unlock the potential in each of our students.
With our full-time nurse, we now have a licensed health-care provider who can assess minor injuries and illnesses, inform parents, and care for children at school. This helps to prevent families from missing work, and reduces the amount of time that students have to miss school for minor issues. Our nurse is also able to provide students with preventative education regarding personal healthcare and nutrition, and support the management of more serious issues, such as diabetes care.
Hiring a full-time social worker has affected us in much the same way. We now have a veteran social worker on staff who is helping to bridge the gaps between school and community resources. These connections will enable our students and our families to thrive.
With a student support staff that now includes our counselors, nurse, and social worker, we can offer students and families with comprehensive support to address social and emotional needs, physical health and wellness, and family needs. This grant will benefit our entire community for years to come!
Pictured at the top of the article from left are Kaye Keller, BRS Foundation Director; Dr.Tracie Metz, Principal BREC; Eric Smithdeal, BRS and BREC Social Counselor; Danielle Rice, BRS and BREC Nurse; and Carl Hyde, President of BRS Education Foundation.