Trauma support program, WATCH, extends another school year for Col. Co. BOE

CSRA News

Columbia County, Ga. (WJBF) – In Columbia County, commissioners voted to extend a partnership with the school system.

They’ve teamed up to help students who went through traumatic experiences.
It’s called the WATCH program.

A school’s main goal is for students to reach academic success. The WATCH program is another way to help those who might need extra support.

It’s an alert system between seven partners. These partners are people like first responders and court judges.

The school system’s Coordinator of Socio-Emotional Services, Rachel Czerepak, says, “the more we continue with this program, the more partners we bring on, and the longer that it is in existence, we will be able to impact more students who are potentially experiencing trauma in the community.

The information given is minimal for confidential reasons. It only gives the students name and school, date and time, as well as who issued the alert.

“A lot of the times students who experience something traumatic outside of school, the effects of it trickle through their behavior when they get to school,” says Czerepak, “and the point is that we want to be aware and prepared when we get to those behaviors so we can intervene appropriately.”

The program has received positive feedback.

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