Welcome to Community Services! We provide and support a variety of specialized pupil services within our schools and in the community. We also coordinate with a broad range of community stakeholders to develop supports and services to ensure our students are healthy, supported, and ready to learn. If your learner or family has any questions or needs, please contact our office at the telephone numbers below.
Director of Community Services
Integrated Supports &
Community Services Coordinator &
District Homeless Liaison
If you have any questions or concerns not addressed on our web page, please feel free to contact us using this form.
Alternative Education Options
Community Schools Initiative
Mental Health and Wellness
Out of Home Care (ESSA)
Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support
School-Age Parent Services
Social & Emotional Learning
Western Technical College - HSED Program
Community Impact Projects & Collaborations
Better Together is committed to improving the mental health of adolescents in La Crosse County. The approach brings together four important stakeholders, each with a role to play in the success of the program.
The Project AWARE grant, provided through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), aims to increase awareness of behavioral and mental health issues among school-aged youth by promoting awareness among students, training school staff, and providing families with community resources.
Resilient and Trauma-Informed Community (RTIC)
Resilient and Trauma-Informed Community (RTIC) is a framework adopted by our network of partners to build a community that is connected, healthy, and resilient. By building resilience and being more trauma-informed as a community, together we can address the adverse effects of trauma, toxic stress, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Handle With Care Program
The School District of La Crosse is the coordinating agency for the 7 Rivers Handle with Care Program. Exposure to violence can have a long-term effect on a child’s physical, emotional and mental health, whether they are the victim of or a witness to violence. Prolonged or repeated exposure to violence and trauma can seriously undermine a child’s ability to focus, behave appropriately, and learn. The result of this can lead to many difficulties in school, including truancy, suspension or expulsion, dropping out, or involvement in the youth justice system. The lasting effects of trauma on the human body and on the development of the brain can also be very detrimental. Early identification of trauma exposure paired with early intervention efforts can successfully disrupt the cycle of trauma. Law enforcement agencies, health systems and school districts can work collaboratively in these efforts by working with families to improve communication to school personnel when a child has been exposed to violence or trauma in the community or is struggling with mental health issues. Handle with Care referrals to schools help position school staff and teachers to better support students in their recovery or treatment.
System of Care ~ School Justice Partnership
In 2016, the School District of La Crosse, City of La Crosse, and La Crosse County signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that established a youth justice partnership designed to improve outcomes for youth, especially youth of color, in our community. A community study from 2008 revealed that not only did our region have a higher rate of juvenile police contact, in general, but that there was also significant, disproportionate police contact occurring for youth of color. The MOU was a systems-level reform designed to change the way school officials, police, and formal services evaluated and responded to youth misbehavior and misconduct.
Adolescent development sometimes results in challenging behaviors in youth including risk-taking, mood swings, challenging authority, and seeking independence. Research indicates that criminalizing this type of behavior can have a negative impact on life outcomes including decreasing the likelihood of graduation and increasing the likelihood of on-going contact with the criminal justice system. With that, the MOU was designed to help professionals better discriminate adolescent behavior or behaviors that warrant help and support from actual criminal behavior. This system identifies a range of “Focus Acts” which are delinquent acts that are better supported and more effectively treated with intervention and a system of graduated sanctions than with court-imposed punishment. This system is not about being “Soft on Crime”, it’s about being “Smart on Crime”.
Students who participate in System of Care wholly avoid any involvement with the youth justice system while they also receive therapeutic interventions to address underlying needs. Once they complete the conditions of their plan, they graduate from the program, and their progress is monitored to make sure they stay successful. System of Care is currently an intervention available at all middle schools and high schools in the School District of La Crosse.