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Student 360 Lessons From Near and Far Deepen Post-Fire Healing and Growth

Student 360 Initiative Provides Foundation for Post-Fire Healing

In 2017, the Las Virgenes Unified School District launched its Student 360 initiative, which focuses on the K-12 development of growth mindset, empathy, mindfulness, autonomy, persistence/grit, and collaboration. Each of these dispositions was selected after considering brain science, protective factors for mental health, and career readiness. As the community continues to rebound  from the traumatic impacts of the Woolsey/Hill Fires and the Borderline Tragedy, LVUSD has mobilized its Student 360 resources to create a fifteen-day, trauma-informed plan for supporting students returning to school. “Our fifteen day plan involves mindfulness activities, dialogue circles, and gratitude activities all aligned to new research from the field of positive psychology,” said Dr. Dan Stepenosky, Superintendent. In addition to student resources, LVUSD worked with mental health partners to develop ten hours of trauma-informed professional development for their staff. “It’s important that we also care for the adults in the community, as children will look to the adults for how to respond to trauma,” said Stepenosky.

Several other examples of LVUSD’s Student 360 came to life last week which positively impacted students, families, and staff. A group of 5th grade students from Westridge Elementary School in Virginia reached out to Willow Elementary School and sent a banner and cards with messages of encouragement to Willow staff and students. The banner of a Willow tree featured below, stated “Willows bend, but don’t break.” This heartwarming outreach touched many in the Willow community. Willow counselor Caity Katz shared that parents came up to her sharing, “What Westridge did for us brings tears to my eyes, it's so kind.”    

WRT  Banner  Willow cards     

At Chaparral Elementary School, 5th grade students have been doing service projects as part of homework this year. These Do Good projects have led to students creating videos of their efforts and posting them on a FlipGrid site. “Engaging in these projects helps our students invest in each other and in the greater community,” said Stephanie Brazell, Principal, “They are the embodiment of the culture we are trying to create through Student 360.”

The District is encouraged to observe how their commitment to providing a holistic educational environment and the implementation of  Student 360 are positively impacting the community as they heal from the trauma associated with recent events, as well as better preparing students for college, career, and lifelong success.