Regarding Eleanor Chute’s Feb. 17 article “City School Students Need More, Not Less,” the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ plan “Whole Child, Whole Community” is a positive step for the students affected because of its commitment to designate funding to increase the functioning of the student in the classroom. Some cuts will be made, but the projections indicate that funding for student health care will not be affected.
I commend the plan’s recommended action of “developing comprehensive mental and physical health programs for students” because it is crucial to provide a learning environment that supports the whole child. Increasing the students’ access to occupational therapy, among health services, will address the needs of the students in terms of their ability to integrate sensory cues such as classroom lighting, noise and seating. options.
As a student in the master of occupational therapy program at the University of Pittsburgh, the likelihood of my ability to deliver OT services in the classroom to students in the school district will increase with the implementation of this plan. Additionally, the district is hoping to incorporate wraparound services, which will target students whose families require services like physical health and wellness, and social-emotional and behavioral health. This would increase occupational therapists’ ability to deliver services in the community to those who previously did not have access.
Overall, the “Whole Child, Whole Community” plan has the potential to improve the ability of the district’s students to successfully enhance their ability to participate in a diverse world after graduation.