In early 2022, we began supporting the immediate and long-term recovery of the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) students and educators affected by the Marshall Fire. Our work has provided:
- Mental health services, including funding to enable BVSD to hire four additional Mental Health Advocates to support the most impacted students and schools
- Direct support for students and families, including transportation stipends and funding for school lunch fees, after school care and tutoring.
- Direct support for educators and schools, including $500 checks for each of the 98 displaced staff members
- Replacement academic materials, including $40,000 to replace academic and sports supplies, including graphing calculators, athletic gear, spirit wear, library books, and more
To see a full summary, please visit our Crisis Response page.
Prioritizing mental health
Immediately after the fire, mental health professionals from surrounding school districts came to BVSD to work with impacted students and families. During this time, we saw that providing students with mental health support during the school day was the most effective way to support their recovery.
We worked closely with BVSD staff to continue providing an additional level of support. Impact on Education quickly enabled BVSD to hire four additional Mental Health Advocates (MHAs).
The new MHAs were hired in the spring of 2022 to support BVSD’s most impacted schools. They provided over 130 consultations and direct support to 93 families and 359 individuals and directed families to additional resources from Impact on Education, BVSD, and community partners, including:
- RTD bus passes and reimbursements for transportation expenses
- Referrals to and application support for the Free and Reduced Price Meal program
- Referrals to McKinney-Vento Specialists, BVSD staff members who help students and families who are facing housing crisis
- Access to medical supplies
- Referrals to school counselors for assistance to students with learning disabilities and in need of Individual Educational Plans
- Referrals to other community mental and behavioral health professionals
Our partners with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy shared that six months after a disaster is often when the financial and emotional realities begin to sink in. Knowing these important moments would happen over the summer break, we allocated funding to ensure two MHAs could work over the summer to support 330 students.
Providing support during the 2022-23 school year
The MHAs continue to provide services at our most fire-affected schools. They provide students with consultations, family support, individual counseling, and support groups. MHAs also support the district Trauma Response teams and facilitate Resilience in Schools and Educators (RISE) sessions for educators and staff.
Financial and academic support
Early in the school year, we learned that families were continuing to experience or experiencing new financial challenges. We worked with BVSD to provide a way for families to request additional support, and are providing funding to cover the costs of school meals, transportation expenses to and from school, free virtual tutoring, and after school care.
Our work is not done
We know the needs of our community will continue and change through the 2023-24 school year. We are currently working on multiple ways to continue expanding the mental health services and resources available to both students and their families.
BEFORE YOU GO …
Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.