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North Rockland school district's new behavior center aims to help kids' mental health

The center within Willow Grove Elementary will be able to serve 32 students from the district at a time.

News 12 Staff

Sep 7, 2023, 9:46 PM

Updated 310 days ago


The North Rockland Central School District has unveiled a new behavior center which aims to help kids with their mental health, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.
"So it's really exciting and it is brand new. There's nothing like this that exists in a public school system here in Rockland county or in the Hudson Valley," says the behavior center's director, Dr. Kevin McCahill, the former school superintendent of Nanuet.
This new program has its own space within Willow Grove Elementary.
Before the center, students would go elsewhere for help. Now they don't need to leave the district as a team of counselors, social workers, teachers and other professionals will work with the child under one roof.
The center will be able to serve 32 students from the district at a time. One classroom is for students from kindergarten through sixth grade. A secondary academic classroom will serve students from seventh through 12th grade.
Each child will spend between two to eight weeks at one of the behavior center's rooms. They will then likely transition back to the classroom or may still need to go elsewhere.
This program was made possible through a number of grants. The largest amount came from the federal level with a total of nearly $9 million over five years. The grants also make it possible for the district to hire therapists and pay for their training, as well as teletherapy counseling services for families.

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