Ross Schools event focuses on support for families, improving wellness

ROSS TWP. — For the first time this local school system will conduct a major health and mental health event coordinated with area agencies and open to the public.

Ross Schools officials said the upcoming Family Wellness Event on Wednesday at Ross High School is a timely step to address concerns of school families — and all school district residents — when it comes to maintaining and improving mind-body health.

“In the Ross school district, our staff have always focused on the whole child,” said Jake Richards, curriculum director for Ross Schools.

“With the growing mental health crisis in our society, that focus has become all the more important. We also know that mental health is connected to various other domains of health, including emotional, social, and physical health,” said Richards.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve worked to develop a wellness system that provides education and resources to our students, staff, and families to help them be well, and this first Ross Schools’ Family Wellness Night is part of that effort,” he said.

The free event — from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 3601 Hamilton-Cleves Road — will include representatives from numerous health and mental agencies — as well as counselors from Ross Schools — and a speaker from the national mental organization 1N5.

After the speaker, guests will be invited to the school’s cafeteria to peruse resources and services offered both by Ross Schools and outside organizations.

In recent years the 2,800-student Ross district has undergone a historic financial struggle seeing voters reject three consecutive school tax hike proposals in 2022 and in May of this year.

The school system, which has undergone program and personnel cuts the last two school years, has fallen into state-designated “fiscal caution” and may eventually face partial state takeover should no additional local tax revenue be forthcoming.

Despite its financial woes, Ross was again the highest rated Butler County district according to the most recent Ohio Department of Education annual report card.

Besides 1N5, organizations joining the Wellness Partner Fair portion of the evening will include Envision, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Frontier Wellness, Second Step, Companions on a Journey, Miami University therapy dogs, ELDA Sunshine Club, Ross Nutrition and Christian’s Cornstand.

Concerns over mental and physical health aren’t restricted to just the immediate school community, said Ross officials.

“Our goal is to provide valuable information and resources to families and continue an increasingly important conversation about our wellness,” said Richards.

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