Grandville Public School District

Toward Better Health

One of the district’s commitments for the 2016-17 school year is to remove barriers that prevent high-quality learning in the classroom, including social, emotional and medical issues that impede student learning. Thanks to grant funding from Project AWARE, Grandville now has a dedicated staff member to zero in on the mental health and healthcare needs of our families. The grant provides funding through the end of the year, but if the Kent ISD enhancement millage passes in May, this type of support will be able to continue indefinitely.

Social worker Anyssa Grendel’s new job is to connect students and families with appropriate mental health resources and social services when their needs are outside school personnel capacity. As the district’s school-community resource coordinator, she works 25 hours per week, helping families navigate the social service system and advocating on their behalf. She also assists with crisis intervention and behavior plans.

Grendel says she looks forward to supporting the needs of students, parents and teachers alike. Her experience includes work in public schools, child protection, emergency medicine, continuing care, acute psychosis and case management. She also brings clinical experience in group and individual counseling to the table. Her other areas of passion include continuing education, yoga and mindfulness.

Assistant Superintendent Scott Merkel says, “We know that students cannot learn at high levels when they are not healthy, and issues of mental health are an increasing challenge for our students and families. Addressing and supporting mental health is a priority for our district, yet falls outside the expertise of teachers, principals and other school staff. This support is especially welcome at our elementary schools, where we do not currently have counselors or behavior support. We are excited to have Anyssa on board to help connect our families to the appropriate and most beneficial community resources.”

Grendel received her master's in social work from Grand Valley State University. Parents and teachers may reach her at 254.6503.
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