El Dorado School System Wants Healthy Students

EL DORADO --  The El Dorado school system wants to make sure students are healthy this school year.

They have teamed up with a local medical provider to make sure this becomes a reality.

They are building a school based Health Center at Washington Middle School for students and faculty this coming fall.

"Our goal is throughout the course of the 5 years and there on after to have it open to everyone in the community, everyone in El Dorado," says Tucker.

This is all possible to due a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education.

Superintendent Jim Tucker says every state does not get something this special.

"There are 24 sites in the state. We're 1 of 3 that got awarded the grant this year. So, we are excited. I mean it's a really neat thing for the town. It's a good opportunity for the school district and it's really good for the students," says Tucker.

This Health Center will involve health providers from the community.

"We had some interested applicants for mental, physical, and dental health services that agreed to come on board. We signed yearly memorandums of understanding with them to provide physical services for our students and staff," says McAdams.

Director of the school based Health Center, Debbie McAdams, assures that with people in the community coming to this health center, it will be separated from school access.

"We have two entrances into our health center. We have one that is secured for our students, so they do not leave the campus. It is all locked up for them, and the outside entrance is for the community," says McAdams.

School officials are hoping this clinic will help reduce student absences.

"We want to see a decrease in absenteeism and a decrease in behavioral issues, being able to offer health and mental health services to those students," says McAdams.

Construction for this school based health center should be done by August.

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