Retired surgeon says Youngstown Schools needs to do more for at- - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Retired surgeon says Youngstown Schools needs to do more for at-risk students

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Dr. Rashid Abdu Dr. Rashid Abdu
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

One of the latest ideas on how to improve Youngstown City Schools comes from the founder of the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center; Dr. Rashid Abdu.

In an email to the Youngstown NAACP, Dr. Abdu said high-risk children, who are victims of poverty and dysfunctional homes, have what he calls traumatic distress syndrome.

His email stated that the district should first form an interdisciplinary committee composed of a teacher, well-qualified psychologist or psychiatrist, a law enforcement officer, a clergy person, welfare representative, and an educated parent.  Second, have teachers and principals identify high-risk children, and thirdly have the committee meet with parents of each child in a non-threatening or condescending way. 

After reviewing Dr. Abdu's suggestions for the district and doing some research, 21 News found that most of what he was suggesting has already been put in place in the Youngstown City School District. 

Youngstown City Schools CIO John Laplante said they look for trends in behavior, attendance, and grades reports to identify at risk students. 

"We are identifying kids at risk, and looking at ways we can intervene whether that's reaching out to the home for support, or if that's academic intervention within the school, or if that's behavioral modification planning," said Chief of Academic Accountability and Assessment Tim Filipovich. 

The district has a committee made up of teachers, parents, psychologists and psychiatrists. Each student is assessed individually, and may meet with one or more members of the committee.

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