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Message from the Director

Welcome to our Stark County Educational Service Center’s iCARE Initiative!

“Each day, educators strive to fulfill the goal that every student will graduate and have the knowledge and skills to succeed in life. To achieve this, school leaders need a system of learning supports within their ongoing school improvement planning to address the distinctive needs of their students.  A learning supports system acknowledges that all students, even the most resilient, need extra help at times to perform well in school. Whether the needs are academic or nonacademic, such a system builds upon community and school resources to provide students and families with essential supports and services.” (ODE) In aligning strategies and best practices in education, the CARE Team Initiative was developed.

The Stark County Educational Service Center’s CARE Team Initiative (iCARE) is a comprehensive, holistic, county-wide system of care that is comprised of a team of administrators, school counselors, teachers, nurses, school resource officers, psychologists, intervention specialists and staff, as well as, family support specialists/liaisons and mental health/alcohol and drug therapists, case managers, and community agency providers. Each CARE Team meets regularly to develop strategies and align resources to promote physical, social, emotional, and intellectual supports for every student to be successful. CARE Teams are able to foster healthy development, intervene early, and provide specialized assistance for those with severe, pervasive or chronic learning barriers.

We have spent 25 years building our CARE Teams.  This initiative is instrumental in meeting the needs of our students by building stronger protective factors and healthier relationships with the parents or care givers of our students.  We presently have 114 CARE Team schools in 22 districts that we serve through the Stark County ESC.  Each CARE Team triage’s student referrals from staff, parents, community agencies and apply appropriate prevention and intervention strategies.

Our Stark County ESC CARE Teams provide opportunities for student success.  We work diligently to increase the protective factors in our students by strengthening their personal resilience, healthy home and family relationships, positive school environment and a caring community for our students to grow up in and thrive.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like to know more about our program.

Warm Regards,

Kay Port, M.ED, Director

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