Some Colorado schools aim COVID-19 relief at mental health

By: | June 11, 2021

School districts across Colorado have received billions in federal aid to help students recover from pandemic learning loss. But, for the Gunnison Watershed School District, there’s a catch: little learning loss occurred.

Unlike most school districts in the state, Gunnison County schools opened for in-person learning in the fall of 2020. And they stayed open through the end of the spring semester. Consequently, Gunnison Watershed School District students have either stayed on track with state education standards or have not fallen behind to the same extent as students on the Front Range, many of whom were forced to study outside of classrooms for most of the 2020-2021 school year.

Nonetheless, the Gunnison Watershed School District anticipates having $1.1 million in federal COVID relief funds on hand in the upcoming school year. So, rather than direct that money at remedial learning, district leaders plan to spend it on mental health support for students. Specifically, that money will fund two secondary counselors and pay for contracted mental health services.

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