The mission statement of the Polk County Public Schools Student Services Department is to support youth, families, and school board employees by enhancing mental and physical health resulting in optimal student achievement and personal success for all.


All phone number area codes are 863
Name: Title: Phone:
Jim Maxwell Director of Student Services 535-5975 Ext. 484
Shannon Gillespie Senior Manager of Social Work Services
Responsibilities: School Social Workers, Attendance, Juvenile Court Liaison, TASSEL
535-5975 Ext. 477
Sherry Scott

Senior Manager of Psychological Services
Responsibilities: School Psychologists; Student Evaluations; Crisis Intervention Team

535-5975 Ext. 489
Audrey Kelley Senior Manager
Responsibilities: Prevention, Health, and Wellness
Cathy Boek Manager
Responsibilities: Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention
Christy Olson

Senior of Coordinator of Mindful Schools
Responsibilities: Mindful Schools Grants, Crisis Intervention Team

535-5975 Ext. 486

Visit our Staff Directory to contact any staff member via e-mail.

About Student Services

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Research studies emphasize the importance of student services relative to student achievement. For example:

  • Students who receive social-emotional support and prevention services achieve better in school (Greenberg, et. al., 2003; Welsh, et. al., 2001; Zins et. al., 2004).
  • Students who are emotionally, physically, and socially healthy are better learners and will be primed to compete for good jobs in a global labor market (National Middle School Association, 2003).
  • Expanded school mental health services in elementary schools have been found to reduce special education referrals; improve aspects of the school climate (Bruns et. al., 2004); and produce declines in disciplinary referrals, suspensions, grade retention, and special education referrals and placement among at-risk students (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005).
  • Nearly 200 studies on the effect of exercise on cognitive functioning suggest that physical activity supports learning.

The Student Services Department has adapted the coordinated school health model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide programs and services to Polk County Public Schools’ K-12 students and their families. This model impacts students’ overall well being and ability to learn.

Components of the model include: Counseling, psychological, and social services; health services; healthy school climate (i.e., safe & drug free schools, violence prevention, school attendance); comprehensive school health education; nutrition education; health promotion for staff and students; and parent/family and community partnerships in school health.
Based on careful analysis of student needs, evidenced-based programs and services are implemented, monitored, and evaluated in an effort to increase student achievement. Many of the programs and services offered are federal, state, and/or locally mandated.

Our Student Services Department provides effective, centralized leadership which results in consistent interpretation of policies and procedures, thereby limiting liability, assuring equity of services, and utilizing resources and personnel efficiently.

Services We Offer

Information about the different services we offer is now found in the Parents Student Services section.

Visit the Parents Student Services Section

Please use the links below to access specific services directly.