SUNBURY — The first week of school for Shikellamy is in the books, and Superintendent Jason Bendle said the district is pleased with the results.
Bendle is especially pleased the looks on the faces of Priestley Elementary students when they met "Oreo."
"Second-grade teacher Kathy Stettler got her dog Oreo in May 2017 and Oreo was trained and continues to be trained on a weekly basis as a certified therapy dog," Bendle said. "Oreo's job as a therapy dog is to help people and students relax and feel more comfortable. Oreo has been observed having a calming effect on students' in need. She has been taken to other classrooms when students were in need of comfort. When students are lined up in the hall, she will go down the line and greet every student. In class, Oreo walks around the room and visit the students. She is a nice addition to Priestley."
Bendle said the Shikellamy Police Department has also made an impact in the district. "It's been a great first week and the officers worked well," he said.
School director Jenna Eister-Whitaker said she was thrilled to hear from parents about the start of the school year.
"I have heard nothing but positive things," she said. "I am so happy to hear that our teachers and our students are happy to be back and are all working together. This is exactly the kind of start we want."
Community and School Based Behavioral Heath Service expanded to Beck Elementary to this fall, Bendle said.
"The Shikellamy School District is expanding its partnership with Children's Service Center to expand the Community and School Based Behavioral Health services already provided since 2017 at Shikellamy Middle School," Bendle said. "Grace S. Beck Elementary School will also house a school-based mental health treatment team. The team, supervised by Joshua Burns and led by Alicia Emory, will provide voluntary mental health services for children with a severe emotional and/or behavioral problem that interferes with their learning. The expansion allows families at Grace S. Beck to access mental health services during the school day at the elementary school."