Behavioral Health & Wellness

San Francisco Unified School District’s approach to Behavioral Health and Wellness is closely tied to Vision 2025 to ensure that we prepare our graduates to live, thrive, and succeed in San Francisco and beyond. Additionally, it is meant to improve the health, well-being, and educational outcomes of San Francisco Unified School District students, preparing them to be physically and mentally healthy community members who have the tools necessary to help build a safe, supportive, and thriving community.  

We accomplish this through school-based supports covering an array of health and wellness services offered within a tiered model that provides universal behavioral and social emotional supports and curriculum to all students and allows for response provided by a team of trauma informed health educators, school social workers, school district nurses, and other health professionals with approaches rooted in Restorative Practices for students and families in need of higher level supports.

Through the collaborative support of all educators, in conjunction with families and community agencies, our focus is to ensure SFUSD students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn

Shared Leadership & Vision

♦ Common language is developed and used around social emotional learning, behavior expectations & school-wide use of PBIS.

♦  There is a school-wide approach to the Wellness Policy (agreed upon and enforced).

♦  The school utilizes a collaborative of district, city and community partners to implement a whole school model of supporting behavioral health and wellness.

♦  The approach to all behavioral health interventions is restorative, strengths-based, culturally and linguistically appropriate and family-focused.

Data Collection & Analysis to Match Needs & Assets

♦  Request for Assistance 1.0 form is used for all referrals of supports and services.

♦  There is regular analysis of referral data to determine if student population is being equitably served, and make plans for reaching the right students.

♦  Cross-functional, inter-organizational Student Assistance Program (SAP) teams are established to assess student need, assign supports and interventions and monitor progress

♦  Partnerships are developed with city and community-based resources to expand capacity for service delivery

♦  Youth and family friendly spaces are created to support confidential conversations

Continuous Learning & Improvement

♦  There is dedicated staff time (including monthly push-in into teacher collaboration time) for Wellness professional learning, including consultancies, trauma-informed practices, and reflection

♦  There is dual-capacity professional learning for all appropriate staff and partners on trauma informed practices, social emotional learning, restorative practices and crisis response

♦  Cross-functional mental health/wellness collaborative meetings (teachers, support staff, CBOs, partners etc.) are held regularly

Intentional Coordination

♦   The school has a team to coordinate behavioral health and wellness services, and holds all required meetings, e.g. SAP, SST, and SART. Meetings comply with best practices developed by SFCSD

♦  There is a lead behavioral health person (social worker, Wellness Coordinator) to ensure planning, coordination, scope of services and accountability; and who collaborates closely with school leadership and community partners

♦  The Request for Assistance 1.0 form & SAP meeting are used to provide students & parents with access to needed resources during and after school. Referrals are monitored to ensure connections are made and the referral agency is responsive to the student and family

To access this as a Behavior Health & Wellness Community School self-assessment, go here.

School Day Activities, Academic Support, Skill Building and Recreation

“Programs must collaborate closely with their school site’s efforts around Behavioral Health and Wellness. This includes representation on the school’s Student Assistance Program team, participation in Student Support Team meetings when appropriate, and close alignment with each site’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports initiatives. Programs may also broker new Behavioral Health and Wellness community partnerships in collaboration with the school site administration and social worker.”

Program Examples

Case Management through online referrals: Using a single online referral system for youth needing case management, each student who opts in will get a case manager to help them meet their academic, social and emotional needs.  

Wellness Team and Health & Wellness Spirit Weeks: Create a coordinated and representative wellness team to establish wellness goals for the school and plan and facilitate wellness activities at lunch throughout the year.

Junior Achievement Success Program (JASP): Intentional and structure cohort case management for at risk youth and youth with multiple Early Warning Indicators (EWI)

#HAYisBAE Week (Healthy Active Youth is Best at Everything):
A week of activities focused on learning about healthy lifestyle choices, ending with a student-led carnival.

Staff wellness initiative: Allow staff to feel more balanced in their work and their world, and take care of others. Brainstorm as a staff healthy practices to incorporate into work, and plan community wellness activities that staff can lead, like creating succulent terrariums, cooking, beer making, etc.


Other Tools & Resources

Community School Climate Self-Assessment Tool: A tool for your school community to self-assess your school climate, organized by 5 environments,  Physical, Social, Emotional, Learning, and Moral .

Resource Guide for Beacon Center: An example of a resource guide for students, families and teachers that includes all programs and services offered at Burton High School. Great for communication and coordination.