Golden Retriever sits in front of a background with paw prints

The Ray-Pec School District is beginning to implement a Therapy Dog pilot program to provide emotional support for students and staff.

In a presentation to the School Board in October, Chief of Staff Dr. Al Voelker said that therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort, companionship, and emotional support. Research shows benefits to students in schools where therapy dogs are present. He noted that many school districts in the Kansas City metro area already have therapy dogs.

Under the Ray-Pec plan, there would be a maximum of one therapy dog per building. The dog must meet certain criteria, and the staff member serving as the dog's handler must complete training. The District is currently surveying staff members to gauge interest in participation as a handler.

If your child's school participates in the pilot program, you will receive more information about the therapy dog. Read more: