PCS approves contract for licensed counselor

Published 7:41 pm Monday, September 28, 2015

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Chilton Shelby Mental Health will provide a licensed professional counselor to work within Pelham City Schools after the Pelham Board of Education approved a contract with the company Sept. 28. 10-7 Licensed Counselor

Dr. Scott Coefield said this addition is part of the school system’s strategic plan. The counselor will be have an office in the schools and will meet confidentially with the students to resolve issues teachers cannot.

“I feel really good about this program,” Coefield said. “I think this is another component of a comprehensive school safety plan.”

The contract is for about $72,000, according to Coefield, and Pelham City Schools will be reimbursed when the counselor meets with a child covered under an insurance agency.

The licensed professional will be working with referrals from guidance counselors, administration and parents as well as kids who approach with problems. Because the counselor will be licensed to work with these issues, Coefield said they will also act as a liaison for other health resources in the community.

Coefield said he’s seen this program in two other school systems he has worked in, and they have been successful. They start out slow because people aren’t sure how to approach, but they take off after a short period.

With the approval of the contract, the position will be posted for candidates, and Pelham City Schools will go through the hiring and training processes. Coefield said it could be another month before the program begins.

“I think that is a big step,” said Board President Rick Rhoades. “It’s just another tool that will help children feel more comfortable in what they are doing and in potential problems. I think it is a very good step. I’m glad to see us doing it.” The board of education,

  • Approved a list of surplus property to be sold or disposed of.
  • Approved Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield’s 11 personnel recommendations.
  • Approved the purchase of a service truck for transportation operations using the funds from the sale of used buses.
  • Approved contracts with Crestwood Educational Consultants, Chantel McManus, Haden Ridlehoover and Melissa Lee.