In Feature Stories

Last school year, The Village Network sent two therapists to Summit Academy Secondary in Youngstown, Ohio to offer its students school-based services for the first time. In just one year, our therapists were able to reduce the number of violent incidents at school, increase the motivation for students to use regulation skills and increase the students’ academic success.

“Working in Summit Academy Secondary is a unique and enriching experience,” said Clinical Therapist and School Liaison Kristen Hoops. ““We are offered the opportunity daily to positively impact a child’s well-being and enhance their opportunities and resources for success.”

Hoops and her coworker Jim Hyland, who is also a clinical therapist and school liaison, are in contact with majority of the high school. They work with youth in 8th through 12th grade and make themselves available for de-escalation, crisis management, monitoring and individual and group therapies.

“We are better able to build a therapeutic relationship that is not available in a traditional therapeutic environment due to the nature of seeing the clients daily in the school setting,” Kristen said. “We truly enjoy the opportunity to step outside of the therapeutic comfort zone to meet the ever changing needs of our client population.”

Hoops and Hyland meet with students during their lunch hour, in their enrichment classes, academic lessons and other settings. The two even sit with the students in the morning where they eat breakfast together before starting the school day.   

Because of their presence and investment in the students, Summit Academy Secondary has experienced great successes including an increased number of seniors graduating and moving forward with post-graduation programs. For the 2017-2018 school year, the two plan to increase student and family engagement in the educational and therapeutic process as well as expand their outpatient services to reach more students.

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