The Wenatchee School District is renewing and expanding its contract with Columbia Valley Community Health (CVCH) for school-based health services.

Seven district schools will provide a combination of health, dental and behavioral health services: Wenatchee High School, West Side High School, Lincoln Elementary, Columbia Middle School, Newberry Elementary School, Mission View Elementary and Orchard Middle School.

Although CVCH has been working with the district on student health services since 2000, only Lincoln Elementary has enjoyed a school-based health center. According to the district, having a school based medical center can decrease a school's absenteeism by 50% and tardiness by 25%.

Parents must sign a consent form before their child can access a student health center and parents will also receive an informational statement from the district.

Members of the school board voiced concern over the fact that, according to state law, a child can technically be prescribed psychotropic drugs as early as 13 without notifying a parent or guardian. Psychotropic drugs are used to treat ailments like depression, anxiety, and ADHD and could have serious side-effects. Suicidal thoughts are the chief side-effect of concern, while hallucinations, insomnia, panic attacks, seizures and dependence have also been reported.

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