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Superintendent updates board: health resources, cyber risks, sports ADVERTISEMENT

Superintendent updates board: health resources, cyber risks, sports

DUNDEE--The Dundee school board met Thursday, March 28 and Superintendent Kelly Houck provided updates for the board on several school issues. The topics included mental health resources, cyber security and the possibility of partnering some select school sports teams.
For mental health, Houck previously contacted state representatives and state school officials to stress the urgent need for student and family mental health resources within the district and the county.
Houck reported she has had several meetings with representatives so far and is encouraged but she wants to see more results. Houck said she recently met with the chief executive officer of Finger Lakes Health System. They are looking to collaborate with area districts to become a partner in addressing mental health needs. Houck said one of the ideas discussed was the hospital's tele-health and tele-therapy resource. The hospital is looking at providing the necessary devices that will allow a student or teacher to access this help during a school day. Houck said the hospital is also working to hire a full-time general psychiatrist and a nurse practitioner so their services will be available during the daytime at Soldiers and Sailors Hospital. Houck said she is pleased with those plans and looks forward to seeing it realized.
Houck has another meeting set for next week with the officials from the state office of mental health. On April 22, the Yates County Legislature has set up a meeting with county educators and other county stakeholders to discuss the mental health needs and resources within the county. Houck said with all of the conversations, "I am hopeful. I'm not confident yet. I will be confident when we see some actionable steps and actual resources in place."
For computer security, Houck said a new state law will require the district to appoint a data protection officer due to the cyber computer hacking that has already been realized by some state schools. Houck said, "It is no longer a question if your data will be hacked, it is a matter of when." Houck said the hackers are looking for personal information that is stored on school district sites.
Houck said the board will be hearing more details about this initiative and she expects to have several things in place by July.
For sports, Houck said she has been very pleased with the two Dundee students who participated on Watkins Glen's track team this winter. In fact, Houck said because of this they are looking at more involvement with additional sports teams in the future. Houck said next year Dundee will invite Watkins wrestlers to join with Dundee at the modified and varsity level. Houck said that partnership could also involve other sports too like swimming, lacrosse, tennis and/or soccer.
Houck also talked about the state's targeted improvement plans for Dundee and their recent visit to the school. Representatives from the state have been at the school this past week talking with administrators, teachers and students to help formulate their ideas for improvement ideas. Houck said the state group was looking for some "quick wins" for students and teachers to help show how the program can help the school. Houck said she will get the group's comments and then Dundee will prepare an improvement plan.

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