Through a partnership with Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) and El Camino Hospital, Sunnyvale School District will be able to provide on-site counseling at all ten of our district schools this year. CHAC will provide two counseling interns for each school, four days a week. CHAC interns are Masters or Ph.D level interns working toward their California state licenses. They have had extensive training and will work closely with their clinical supervisors during their internships at CHAC.
CHAC has provided counseling services to students at Ellis, Vargas, and Sunnyvale Middle School for the past two years with Sunnyvale School District (SSD) funding these services. These counseling programs served a total of 320 students, offering individual and small-group counseling.
Via CHAC, students receive help handling situations such as parents’ divorce, co-custody issues, parent illness, as well as help for shyness, depression, anxiety, poverty, or academic challenges. Lunch time group meetings are also offered.
Just for Kids is a group where 3rd grade students acquired healthy coping skills and problem-solving strategies. For middle school students, there are lunch time groups such as Tween Talk and Teen Talk, addressing student concerns such as healthy coping skills, motivation, positive identity, relationships, development of social skills, making healthy choices and stress management. Tween Talk is aimed at 6th graders while Teen Talk is geared for older middle school students.
Counseling services are not mandated for public K-8 schools, except for students with identified special needs. However, Sunnyvale School District understands the importance of caring for the whole child, supporting students struggling with challenges outside of the classroom so that they can better focus on learning in the classroom.
Article by Nina Wong-Dobkin