WVDE, Marshall partner to launch program designed to help schools with social/emotional needs

By Jake Flatley, WV MetroNews

February 7, 2020

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — There’s a new program in place designed to support schools, educators, school personnel, families and students all across the state affected by the substance misuse crisis.

The West Virginia Department of Education and Marshall University unveiled that program on Thursday: ReClaim West Virginia Initiative.

Diana Whitlock, the Assistant Director in the Office of Special Education and Student Support for the state Department of Education (WVDE) told MetroNews they have been working on this launch for more than a year.

She said teachers have been crying out for help when it comes to social/emotional resources in schools.

“They have been saying help us with behavior, help us with the mental health issues that we are seeing due to the trauma that our students are facing,” Whitlock said. “They realize and we also realize that they are not equipped to handle that.”

The WVDE partnered with several agencies in this program including Marshall University’s Autism Training Center which houses the West Virginia Behavior/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center (TAC).