MOESC Announces LEAP Program Expansion
The LEAP program provides instruction and related services to students from individual school districts who require a more specialized educational setting than is available in the public school. LEAP has 8 total locations servicing much of northern Ohio, including one at Crestview Local Schools. Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center is proud to announce the opening of a new location in Mansfield at the ESC. The classrooms will be operational in time for the start of the 2021/2022 school year.
George Linberger, LEAP Director and President, said, “We are really excited for this partnership with Mid-Ohio ESC. We had been in discussions for some time before COVID, but in the past 6 months, we finally got to take concrete steps forward to obtaining this space with Mid-Ohio and offering our services to even more students.”
LEAP helps students both from general education and those assessed to have Learning or Developmental Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (i.e., Asperger's Syndrome, higher functioning Autism), ADHD, Oppositional/Defiant Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, all Personality Disorders and many others not listed. They provide students, their families, as well as the placing school districts effective, innovative, and evidence-based alternative education and psychoeducational services. They work to provide hope and motivation to emotionally and behaviorally challenged children grades K through 12 to reach their maximum potential academically, emotionally, and socially.
Kathleen Frazier is the program director for the Crestview branch and will additionally be serving in the same role for the new Mid-Ohio branch. “We are so glad for the chance to open up the doors closer to kids that really need the assistance. For some of the students in Mid-Ohio’s districts, the distance was just too far from Crestview to be a feasible option. Being in Mansfield and closer to those students means we can be a better branch of support that will make it easier to carry the lessons learned into their everyday lives.”
Frazier said she hopes that through word of mouth and results seen from students returning to their home districts they will be seen as more than just “alternative placement” for a student. “There is a great need for mental health care right now, and we want people to know we work with all students, including general education students, when they have social and emotional problems. It’s our goal to turn them into productive students when they come back.”
Staffing this new branch will be a mixture of LEAP veterans and some new staff, although all have prior teaching experience. The Mid-Ohio branch will be able to support roughly 48 students, 12 students in each of 4 classrooms. Every student receives full academic services, as regulated by the State of Ohio, including up-to-date curriculum for all age and grade levels, based on adopted State Standards & Proficiency expectations. There is also short-term and crisis counseling for students, as needed, as well as, daily psychoeducational groups, with topics including conflict-resolution skills training, emotion management, self-care and hygiene maintenance, self-esteem enhancement, social skills development, financial budgeting/planning, relationship maintenance, how to ask for help, accepting consequences, etc.
“Having the LEAP program as a resource for our students in Mid-Ohio ESC member districts gives us all a valuable tool for when a student’s needs are more specialized than their home district can accommodate,” said Kevin D. Kimmel, Superintendent of Mid-Ohio ESC. “Plus, this new location in Mansfield will ensure all Mid-Ohio districts have equal access without the obstacle of distance.”