LPIE is proud to fund the Wellness Center at Acalanes High School. The work of Patrick Turner and his team is invaluable to supporting all the students at Acalanes and enriching their educational experience.
What inspired you to become a school counselor?
Mentoring in my community helped me to identify the purpose in assisting youth with deciding pathways to education and their life decisions. The transition into Wellness Coordinator has been seamless in supporting the social and emotional connection for our students.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working with students?
In all honesty, it's the youthful interactions. Assisting in the development and participating in their growth allows me to be optimistic about the direction of the future.
How would you describe the school culture?
The school culture in Lafayette is very academically driven to perform at the highest level. This district has staffed educated personnel that are great at getting the best results out of their student population. As depicted in the standardized tests that illustrate their dominance in ELA and Math.
What’s new in the Wellness department, especially since the start of the pandemic? Within the Wellness centers, there is always an adaptive method to assist students at the levels that they need to be helped. Wellness is funded by LPIE initiatives, and their support has increased the ways that we are able to meet the needs of our students.
What are some of the biggest challenges students are facing today? What are some of the ways the counselors are helping students deal with these challenges? I believe students are challenged with traditional issues such as social media, academic stress, anxiety, etc. Counselors at Acalanes are constantly connecting, assisting, and supporting students with all facets of development within the educational structure.
What are some of the unique ways that our schools are helping with wellness? (i.e., new facilities, lunch clubs, focus groups, classes) This year we opened a new wellness space. We have wellness support counselors to meet the needs of the students in various ways including group counseling, academy, and lunch clubs, partnering with teachers on introduction of mental health initiatives and designing presentations that discuss topics of concern across the district.
What are ways that adults can best support children?
Adults in the community are already involved in their child’s needs and education. I would only add to continue the open dialogue about their child’s daily experiences in life and school. Ask for their input on educational development because it can determine the engagement in the courses select.
What else would you like to share with the community regarding wellness? Once again, we appreciate the growing support from LPIE and would like to continue partnering with LPIE on meeting the needs of this community. Wellness centers have increased visits every year since its inception. It's our overall mission to meet each student where they are and to provide the support at each school for the growth and development socially and emotionally.