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$120K grant helps Manor ISD provide mental health support to staff, students

The school district was able to hire a licensed family therapist to provide support for students and staff.

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.Samsung Austin Semiconductor donated $120,000 to Manor ISD at Manor Early College High School on Nov. 17, 2023. From left to right: Heather Lucero, Manor ISD therapist; Mayra Hernandez, director of Whole Child at Manor ISD; Michele Glaze, director of communications and community affairs at Samsung Austin Semiconductor; Dr. Robert Sormani, Manor ISD superintendent. Every day, educators inspire and motivate students to go beyond what’s imaginable. But how do we support our teachers and ensure they have the tools they need to be the best teacher they can be? At Manor Independent School District, they've implemented a program called relationship-centered learning through the help of National Educators for Restorative Practices. Relationship-centered learning is an approach that utilizes practical tools and techniques designed to intentionally and proactively create connections that build, strengthen, support and sustain relationships in the classroom. “This program helps our Manor ISD staff members learn how to connect with students and apply interventions that are going to help in the classroom to de-escalate," director of the Whole Child at Manor ISD, Mayra Hernandez, said. "We know sometimes things can get really rough, especially right after COVID we saw an increase in behavioral issues, so this program really helps staff understand and connect with students and use positive intervention to build relationships." Samsung Austin Semiconductor's 2023 grant of $120,000 is helping support this initiative. With the donation, the district was able to hire a licensed family therapist to provide support for students and staff. "The therapist is providing crisis support and mental health counseling for students but also for staff members," explained Hernandez. "She is able to be utilized in classrooms where she can observe, so if a teacher is having a hard time with a student, she's able to apply different interventions that are going to help the classroom."