CSISD Superintendent talks drug testing, new campus, and mental health

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - College Station ISD students will be back in the classroom beginning Thursday, August 15. On Tuesday, Superintendent Clark Ealy appeared on Brazos Valley This Morning to discuss drug testing at the high school, the new elementary school and recent measures to address mental health.

River Bend Elementary

College Station ISD is opening its fifth school in as many years. According to the CSISD website, River Bend Elementary is the first facility built west of the College Station railway tracks. The campus is expecting 450 students when it opens its doors for the first time.

"We'll be welcoming back about 13,800 students to our 19 campuses." Ealy said he and other staff members are looking forward to "meeting the needs of each individual kid, of finding their hopes and their dreams, of finding their untapped potential."

Random Drug Testing

One thing that will not be new at CSISD is random drug testing at the high school. Officials implemented the new policy during the 2018-2019 school year, requiring every student involved in extracurricular activities and every student parking on campus to submit to random drug tests. School leaders plan to continue drug testing in 2019.

Ealy says the policy received a lot of positive support from the community. "We were able to give students a reason to say no to peer pressure," he said.

Mental Health Services

In the previous school year, CSISD made headlines with a proposal to provide students with more mental health services. Ealy says the first thing they did was hire an additional counselor who will focus on mental health, rather than scheduling or testing.

Secondly, the district is partnering with local mental health care providers to meet with kids and families on campus, rather than requiring them to leave during the school day.