Over the next four years SFUSD, in partnership with the City’s Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and several community organizations, will build upon existing school-based service models to enhance and expand more full-service community schools.
The launch of wellness services at the middle grades over the next four years will be made possible as a result of a private donation of over $15 million. Starting with three schools in 2021 -- Visitacion Valley Middle School, Francisco Middle School and Everett Middle School -- and gradually expanding, the DCYF-SFUSD Middle School Health and Wellness Initiative will provide culturally relevant mental health and wellness services in 13 middle schools and three K-8 schools with existing Beacon Centers operated in collaboration with community-based organizations.
The new funding will provide support for the creation of a credentialed health education teacher position, allowing for baseline instruction addressing the critical health and wellness and healthy relationship issues confronting middle school students. Additionally, it will fund a full time nursing position and a community health outreach worker position to assist with creating a wellness space at schools, building family partnerships, developing a youth outreach worker program, assisting with attendance support strategies, leading youth development groups as well as facilitating community based organizations in collaboration with the Beacon Centers to bring additional services to students and their families.
As the district expands mental health and wellness services in middle schools, it hopes to see increased rates of students reporting feeling safe, a greater sense of belonging, improved attendance rates, and a decrease in rates of students reporting thoughts of suicidality.