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Marana Unified School District offers students additional services to help with mental health

Posted at 6:20 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 09:20:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - The new school year is underway within the Marana Unified School District, but this semester, there are lots of changes.

You won't find students sitting in classrooms, instead you'll see teachers staring into laptops with zoom rooms full of students.

"We’re going to try and make it feel like a regular school year as much as it can be," said Katherine Newton, a psychologist with the Marana Unified School District.

Newton said this semester is going to be much different than previous semesters. She said the district is adding more services to make sure any student who is struggling is getting the help they need.

Newton added teachers throughout the district are trying to incorporate as much structure as possible into students' routines.

“If a child is showing the need we can talk about something they’re feeling nervous about, something they’re having anxiety about or nervous, then we would probably pair them ideally with a child who’s experiencing some of the same things," she said.

Bruce Hesse is an intervention counselor at Mountain View High School, he and others in his position have taken on additional responsibilities to help struggling students.

“We anticipate we’re going to see a lot of anxiety related to COVID. How it’s affected their families because you could have someone that’s sick, lost somebody, maybe somebody lost a job, maybe their job pay went down so their economic situation is different, maybe somebody lost a home," said Hesse.

Hesse said he and other intervention counselors will be giving three virtual lessons throughout the semester to help students open up, if they need to.

“They’re going to look at health and safety and coping and from the elementary to high schools that’s going to be done across the district," he said.