Schools face loss of key grant

    This year is the fifth and final year for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) grant for Adams County, which means that several programs will come to an end and the school districts will need to find other sources of funding.
    South Adams Schools Superintendent Scott Litwiller said at Tuesday's board of education meeting that a county committee has identified the following services as priorities to continue after the conclusion of the current school year: School resource officer; mental health assistance through Life Matters; the RISQ out-of-school suspension center for middle schoolers and high schoolers; and the student assistance program which employs a half-time nurse and a half-time guidance counselor.
    Litwiller explained that the school resource officer and the mental health assistance program have been funded by an anonymous donor through June 2016. But, he said, "The county is searching for funding sources to continue these services [RISQ and the student assistance program] other than the schools' general fund accounts. If other sources of funding are not secured, South Adams will need to budget approximately $41,000 to sustain these services for the 2013-14 school year.
    "These programs have made an impact on our kids," said Litwiller. "We are looking to be proactive instead of reactive."
    In a related matter, board members approved the renewal of the annual agreement between North Adams Schools (SS/HS administrator), South Adams Schools and the town of Geneva for a school resource officer at the school.