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Safe & Sound

Mental and physical health remains a priority
13. Safe & Sound – Photo
Student Resource Officer Andy Fairbanks talks with students at Frederick High School.

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The safety, emotional well-being, and mental health of students are crucial factors in providing the strongest learning environment possible. St. Vrain Valley Schools strives to give students access to dedicated school counselors, psychologists, interventionists and social workers, supportive campus supervisors, dedicated and caring School Resource Officers (SROs), and a thoughtful curriculum that is inclusive of social-emotional learning to advance student well-being and safety.

Beth Colvin, a parent of two students at Frederick High School, sees the benefits of having SROs at schools. She says it adds to the safety and security of kids. “Having that presence there creates a sense of security and prevents things from happening that might if there wasn’t one there.” However, SROs do much more than just protect the physical safety of our schools, they also build relationships with students so that they are an approachable and relatable resource. Officer Andy Fairbanks, an SRO at Frederick High, acknowledges that it is important for students to see the human side of law enforcement. Fairbanks says, “my job is not to get students in trouble, it’s to encourage them to learn from mistakes before they enter the real world as adults.”

Fairbanks spends a lot of time beyond the routine school day connecting with students. He shows up to cross country and track workouts to run with students, supports them at different athletic events, and volunteers at events such as canned food drives and Veterans Day breakfasts. “He shows that he is interested and involved, remembering the names of students and what their likes and dislikes are to build trust,” added Colvin, who is also a librarian at Centennial Elementary School.

St. Vrain empowers students with a focused curriculum that teaches mindfulness and fosters social-emotional well-being. Social-emotional learning, the process of developing self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills, is ingrained at all levels of education through InFocus for elementary school, 7 Mindsets for middle school, and Sources of Strength for high school students. These skills are vital for school, work, and life success.

At Soaring Heights PK-8, the neuroscience focus program supplements these already robust social-emotional learning curricula. Alex Shores, an eighth grader at Soaring Heights PK-8, says, “having neuroscience so readily available and everywhere in this school is helpful for my learning process because I’m a lot more engaged in learning about my mind.”

Students at Soaring Heights PK-8 are taught about mindfulness, and how emotions are connected within the brain. These lessons also prepare students to solve complex, global problems such as clearing the ocean of pollution. “You can use neuroscience to connect with anything,” says Shores. “The neuroscience focus is making me think more and making me more self-aware. It has helped me be more engaged and focused.”

Parents also play a critical role in keeping students safe at school. Knowing the role of teachers, school counselors, psychologists, interventionists, social workers, SROs, and campus supervisors helps establish and maintain healthy relationships between them, parents, and students.

BY THE NUMBERS STUDENT WELL-BEING AND SAFETY

156 School Counselors, Psychologists, Interventionists, and Social Workers who are dedicated to supporting student mental health and overall well-being. St. Vrain Valley Schools added a counseling position to each high school, as well as increased counseling support at all elementary schools across the district.

25 School Resource Officers (SROs) who support student safety in every school across the district through strong partnerships with our local law enforcement agencies.

38 Campus Supervisors who support school administrators, SROs, teachers, and staff in establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy school environment.

$45 Million invested in school safety and security upgrades in the past ten years, including secured double-vestibule entrances, security cameras, and other building upgrades.