Yorkville schools reach out to help at-risk students

By Erika Wurst For Chronicle Media

Yorkville School District Superintendent Tim Shimp

In a sweeping effort to protect their students, Yorkville Unit School District 115 administrators and its Board of Education has made a public plea that residents who “see something, say something”.

Superintendent Tim Shimp took to social media last week to address an issue that has recently plagued the district.

He noted the “concerning increase” in the number of students who are making poor life decisions, as well as the decrease in the number of parents, students and community members willing to report their concerns. Because of this, students often don’t get the help they need until it’s too late.

“It is not enough to just discuss potential issues with a small group of friends or post general comments on a social media site,” Shimp told community members. “If you know of a child or teen who is headed down a dangerous path, please report it.”

Concerns can be brought to a staff member’s attention, or can be passed on through the district’s “Y Not Say Something” tip line. This tip line is secure, confidential and can be accessed by visiting www.y115.org/tipline, or by clicking on the “Y Not Say Something” icon in the district mobile app.

Shimp said all concerns reported to the district will be investigated discreetly and necessary support or resources will be provided to students who are identified as struggling.

“As a community, these are all of our children,” Shimp said. “When a child is hurt, or lost, it is not only the child’s family who grieves; it is also fellow classmates and other parents, teachers and school leaders…”

He noted that the tip line isn’t about doling out discipline, but about “helping our children successfully navigate adolescence without resorting to behaviors that ultimately result in self-harm.”

While not singling out specific incidents, the district is emphasizing it is important for people who have concerns about a student to reach out for help and get the student the support he or she needs.

“The ‘We are Yorkville’ mantra does not refer to just those who live within the city borders,” Shimp said. “‘We are Yorkville’ refers to all those who form our District 115 community—students, parents, local businesses, residents, alumni, partners, and those working in the schools. Please be an active part of the ‘We’ and help our community grow stronger together.”

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— Yorkville schools reach out to help at-risk students —