Mental Health/Wellness Services and Resources
The District provides school-based mental health/ wellness services and resources (www.iusd.org/WeCare or www.iusd.org/department/mental-health-wellness) to students and families. These services include short-term individual or group counseling for students at the school site; short-term, solution-focused therapy for students and families through the Irvine Family Resource Center; and resource linkages to community-based mental health or social services for students and families. Services are provided by counselors or licensed mental health professionals.
Turtle ROck counseling program overview
Here at Turtle Rock, we strive to equip every student with positive social skills and effective strategies for difficult situations. Every student will receive monthly social-emotional learning (SEL) from the evidenced-based program SecondSTEP directed by our Guidance Assistant and Elementary Resource Counseling (ERC) Specialist. The following skill building areas will be discussed: Skills for Learning, Empathy, Emotion Management, and Problem Solving. In addition to the classroom lessons, small groups, and individual counseling, students are offered Lunch Bunch gatherings once a week. These provide the opportunity for students to join the ERC during lunch to engage and socialize with peers in games and fun activities!
second step program
IUSD has selected the Committee for Children’s Second Step program (www.secondstep.org), grounded in extensive research and evidence-based criteria, as the curriculum for social-emotional learning (SEL) in our school district. It is taught in grade levels K – 8. The Second Step Program is instrumental in strengthening the social-emotional skills of students by developing critical life skills that help students recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, CASEL). We know that academic learning, combined with social-emotional learning, prepares students to be academically successful, healthy, develop good social relationships, and become engaged citizens (Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education, Columbia University, February 2015). To this end, we strive to prepare our students by teaching them foundational SEL skills from the Second Step program.
In this short video, the creators of SEL show what social-emotional skills are and the important role they play throughout our lives.: The Importance of SEL
individual & small group counseling
At Turtle Rock our students have access to social/emotional support from our Guidance Assistant (GA) and our Elementary Resource Counselor (ERC). These professionals work with large and small groups in the areas of classroom behavior, academic achievement, self-concept and social skills. The Elementary Resource counselor may also do short-term individual counseling and provide referrals for child/family therapy. To start the referral process for a student to receive services from the GA or ERC, a parent should speak with their child's classroom teacher.
Students are offered the opportunity to further practice SEL skills learned in the classroom in a smaller group setting. Students will meet with once a week for approximately 30 minutes one day a week for approximately 4 – 12 weeks. Every effort is made to meet with your student during non-critical teaching time. Parent/Guardian consent is required for participation in Second Step small group.
What Second Step lessons are taught in the classroom and small group settings?
The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:
- Skills for learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task, and being assertive when asking for help.
- Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and other’s feelings. Students also learn to take another’s perspective and how to show compassion.
- Emotion Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings, such as anxiety or anger.
- Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way.