There are fewer than two weeks until the start of the new school year.
As that date nears, the Corpus Christi Independent School District is scrambling to fill key positions — including mental-health social workers.
Cindy Stillman is a mother to three children. Two of them attend CCISD.
Stillman said her youngest child is worried about whether it's safe to go to school or not.
“My fifth grader was a little more concerned about it," she said. "He said, 'Oh my gosh, what if that happens at my school?' ”
Preparing her kids to go back to school, Stillman said she is confident her 17-year-old and 10-year-old sons at CCISD will receive help if they are in emotional distress thanks to the mental-health workers serving the 57 campuses within the district.
“The district has implemented social and emotional learning,” she said.
CCISD mental-health specialist Maria Iyescas said the district has new initiatives it's excited to roll out, such as Caring Corner, which provides students with basic needs such as free clothing, school supplies, and hygiene products.
Iyescas said, right now, the district is looking to form its entire team.
“We hired two (mental-health specialists) this summer, and hopefully it’ll be another one before the school starts,” she said.
Officials said a full staff of 15 social workers will be able to teach CCISD educators what signs to look out for in students, and refer them for counseling.
“One social worker can have up to four to five schools (in) their caseload, and without having this extra person, that’s going to bump up to at least six to seven perhaps,” Iyescas said.
Right now, there are 14 social workers for all CCISD campuses, and 10 licensed mental-health therapists available for middle-school students. They provide counseling services to students and their families.
“It makes me feel comfortable that if one of my kids is having an issue or is worried," Stillman said. "They have someone to turn to.”
If you’re interested in becoming part of this team of mental health social workers, visit ccisd.us to apply online.