Lombard Principal Nick Sutton saw a need during last year’s school year to address some counseling and mental health issues within the school.
During school improvement committee meetings, Sutton and his staff saw real gains in the areas of academics and discipline at Lombard- so Sutton and the staff decided to zero-in on where some of their needs are. Lombard has systems in place to assist students with emotional and mental issues, but after realizing that the school already subconsciously partners with Bridgeway, Sutton decided to reach out to Stacy Brown. Brown told WGIL, “Nobody wants to discuss it, nobody wants to talk about it, so it was really refreshing when Nick approached us and said – I see this need in our school, I want to address it, I want to partner, I want to find a way to get these needs met for the children in my school. And so we were very happy, very pleased to partner with that.” District 205 Board of Education approved the agreement for Bridgeway to receive 72-thousand dollars in Federal Title One grant money to hire a masters level mental health professional. Brown added, “We would actually provide a full-time, on-site mental health counselor at Lombard. We wanted these teachers and these individuals who are dealing with these issues they were experiencing to get back to their jobs. And focus on what they did and what they knew – which was teaching.” Sutton went on to say that the federal grant money was already something the school had access to and wouldn’t cost the district or community anything. The full-time counselor will be a part of the Lombard team and will be available 365 days a year for both students and their families.