District 12 to add health services

Heart screening among programs being planned

JOHNSBURG – Cardiac screening is the newest health-oriented service School District 12 plans on offering.

Last year, the Johnsburg-based district brought in a mobile dentist’s office and put on a wellness fair featuring speakers who discussed strategies for reducing risky behaviors, allergies and diseases and anger management for teenagers.

Both are set to return this year.

“It’s just looking at the economy and trying to help out the families,” said Fran Milewski, the district’s assistant director of student services.

The mobile dentist, for example, helps low-income families meet the dental test requirement for kindergartners, second-graders and sixth-graders, she said.

When Milewski’s position was created six years ago, the district brought back some of the educational services that had been cut and now they’re expanding into other areas, she said.

The emphasis on health is a trend across the profession, she said.

She heard about the cardiac screening, which will be provided to all seventh-graders through high schoolers with parent permission in January by Young Hearts for Life, from a friend who works in another district.

District 12 will be the first in the county to bring in the program. The district also is looking into concussion screening.

The response has been extremely positive, Milewski said.

Thirty volunteers have already signed up to help with the cardiac screening event, which the district just started to advertise, and the wellness fair drew 250 people – parents and other residents – from Johnsburg, Woodstock and Crystal Lake.

“I definitely think we are a community resource,” Milewski said. “Our social workers are always reaching out. I think being a small community, I think we count on the community for different things.”

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