Bartlesville Public Schools will add three additional school counselors to its elementary schools, thanks to a grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education. There are currently three counselors shared between the six elementary schools, so the additional three will allow each school to have its own.
To help Oklahoma schools meet the needs of children in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is awarding grants to 181 school districts across the state to hire school counselors and school-based mental health professionals. OSDE is using $35.7 million in federal relief to fund the grant program called the Oklahoma School Counselor Corps.
Districts applied for Oklahoma School Counselor Corps grants to fund approximately 50% of the cost of the salary and benefits of qualified positions. In the application, districts were able to specify exact needs for school counselors, licensed school-based mental health professionals, social workers, recreational therapists and/or contract for eligible positions or services. The grant will fund the positions for three years or through the 2023-24 school year.