The Mt. Pleasant Community School District is entering into a shared personnel agreement with Great Prairie Area Education Agency to hire Katie Vansickel as a social worker for the 2019-20 academic year.
The Mt. Pleasant school board approved the shared personnel agreement during a school board meeting on Monday, June 10.
“We know the resources we have in terms of social worker and counselors is really one of our thinnest areas,” said John Henriksen, superintendent. “We’re looking for someone who would be working directly with students to meet their needs.”
Vansickel is a Mt. Pleasant graduate and currently resides in Mt. Pleasant. Her children are students in the district.
“I think it’s going to be a good fit,” Henriksen said.
Vansickel will be available to students Monday through Thursday, per the agreement.
Henriksen said the district is looking for ways to meet their highest-need students. While in the past, the position of social worker has not been eligible for shared operational dollars, it is now, he said.
By sharing a social worker with the AEA, the MPCSD can claim an additional three students, which is about $21,000, Henriksen said. The district will pay Great Prairie AEA $52,000 for the services of a social worker.
The agreement will automatically continue from one fiscal year to the next unless either the MPCSD or Great Prairie AEA terminates the agreement by March 1 of that year.
The social worker will focus primarily on meeting students in tier two and three of the district’s positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), Henriksen said.
Henriksen said he has met with the AEA to create a job description and discuss the needs of the MPCSD.
Martha Wiley, school board member, said she wants the social worker to be a team player.
“Whatever they are doing, it should be what we see as valuable as well as what they see as valuable,” she said.