Student Services and Wellbeing
Our students are growing up in a very difficult time. In an era where violence, hatred and fear are becoming all too commonplace, we must do everything we can as a district and as a community to provide the physically, mentally and environmentally safe schools that our students deserve. Additionally, our district is the biggest school district in all of Santa Barbara County, which also happens to be the county with the highest rate of childhood poverty in California.
As a former very-low income student and survivor of abuse myself, I know that many of our students are sometimes more worried about surviving day-to-day than they are about their education. We must look at each student as a whole and consider how our district can provide better services or improve referrals to other agencies. Things like increasing our mental health responsiveness staff, shortening referral times to outside agencies and working closely with the county can go a long way in improving the quality of education our students receive.
Additionally, teachers are already having to wear many hats beyond teaching, and in overcrowded classrooms it is even tougher. If we can provide additional staff or services that can focus on student’s well-being, our teachers can focus on being the best mentors they can be. We must never forget that in order to educate, we must first engage with our students on a human level.