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Focus on School Safety

Culver City Unified School District Superintendent Dave LaRose responds to questions posed by parents of students in the district.

The following information was provided to Culver City Unified School District parents by CCUSD Superintendent Tom LaRose.

There are many factors that impact student success as well as school safety. As such, CCUSD is committed to providing support for the whole child to ensure that in addition to academics, we provide programs and people to support the emotional, physical and behavioral health of children as well. I have received a number of questions about our support for the whole child, and I wanted to share some of them with you here.

Bullying seems to be at the root of many problems that we hear about in the news. What is CCUSD doing to deal with bullying on campus?

CCUSD has implemented the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program on all of its campuses. Working closely with the CCUSD Anti-Bullying Task Force, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) has reduced and prevented many bully/victim problems among students and has improved school climates. In addition to this curriculum, CCUSD also provides training for administrators, teachers, instructional specialists, playground aides and security staff - essentially anyone who deals with our students has been trained in the program with on-the-spot intervention steps for bullying behaviors. Working with the districtwide Anti-Bullying Task Force - composed of includes parents, students, teachers, administrators, and other school staff - an anonymous form for reporting bullying can be found on-line at www.ccusd.org under "Educational Services" or can be downloaded by clicking here.

What about mental health issues? How is CCUSD working to identify problems before they occur and provide support for anyone needing mental health services?

One incredible resource CCUSD has that many school districts do not is the Culver City Youth Health Center - an on-campus resource that provides free physical health services as well as mental health services for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse and family violence. A wide variety of crisis intervention and counseling services are available ay CCYHC, including one-on-one, group and family counseling - all available for free to Culver City students. The mental health program consists of 8 interns in training, 7 volunteers and 3 supervising psychologists. It is open 3 ½ days per week. Last year, CCYHC provided care for 375 middle and high school students, and therapists held a variety of therapy groups ranging from "Reaching Life Goals for Teen Girl" to "Coping with Grief" to an GLBT support group.

Beyond the Youth Health Center, what is being done to help students who need help?

CCUSD has two behavioral specialists - trained therapists who specialize in working with children and teens to assess and change behaviors. Using evidence-based behavioral principles, they focus on helping kids develop new productive behaviors to replace problematic ones while providing parent coaching to help manage problem situations more effectively. We also have school-based Student Study Teams, which provide peer intervention and assistance for for students who struggle socially, emotionally and behaviorally. We are also fortunate to have a caring, well-trained and proactive team of administrators, teachers and staff who know their students extremely well. They are tuned in to student behaviors and are often ale to counsel students or get them help before behavioral issues arise.

I am extraordinarily proud of our District's efforts to address the whole child. We continue to re-evaluate and improve the services we offer and the ways in which we offer them, and I welcome any feedback from parents.

Of course, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to call me at (310) 842-4220, ext. 4204 or email me at davidlarose@ccusd.org. My door is always open.

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Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin January 22, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Superintendent Dave LaRose will be at the School Safety Forum Wednesday January 23 at 7pm (Veteran's Memorial Building). The forum is sponsored by United Parents of Culver City. For more information: http://www.UnitedParentsCulverCity.com

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