West Fargo Public Schools to use $12M federal grant to hire 21 behavioral health specialists

(Fargo, ND) -- West Fargo Public Schools is receiving a ten-year $12 million grant to hire more behavioral health specialists. 

"It's just been incredible. When we found out, you know we found out over the Christmas break that we had been awarded this grant and, just jumping up and down in my pajamas we were so excited," said Annie Richards, the district's Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness.

Richards says the federal grant from the Department of Education will be used to hire 21 full-time staff to provide mental health services across the district. Mental health training will be provided to all existing staff to support students. 

Last summer, West Fargo Public Schools became the first district in the state to create a department focused on behavioral health and wellness. 

Original Air Date: 
Tuesday, January 10, 2023