Brush and Palette

Student survey starts an era of new supports

At+the+heart+of+LBUSD+is+the+goal+to+create+thriving+students%2C+both+academically+and+emotionally.+While+supportive+homes+and+communities+are+critical%2C+a+school+and+individual+classrooms+must+also+foster+growth+in+the+areas+of+self-awareness+and+social+responsibility.+
At the heart of LBUSD is the goal to create thriving students, both academically and emotionally. While supportive homes and communities are critical, a school and individual classrooms must also foster growth in the areas of self-awareness and social responsibility.

At the heart of LBUSD is the goal to create thriving students, both academically and emotionally. While supportive homes and communities are critical, a school and individual classrooms must also foster growth in the areas of self-awareness and social responsibility.

At the heart of LBUSD is the goal to create thriving students, both academically and emotionally. While supportive homes and communities are critical, a school and individual classrooms must also foster growth in the areas of self-awareness and social responsibility.

Sidney Koziarz, Business Manager

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This November, the Laguna Beach Unified School District introduced a Social Emotional Support program, or SES, to its curriculum. This new student wellness program operates under the leadership of Dr. Michael Keller, who is new to the district this year, and it aims to reach out to the student body regularly in order to hear directly from the students regarding their non-academic needs.  

“What we try to do is analyze students’ needs, kindergarten through twelfth grade, through a variety of different means. We do teacher surveys, parent surveys, student surveys, and we try to design instructional programs that meet the needs of students when they have areas of need. Social Emotional Support is an array of different services that focus on prevention and intervention services to provide students confidence in themselves and their education,” said Keller, the Director of Social Emotional Support.

On Dec. 4, LBHS students completed the first student-initiated CoVitality survey to help the district obtain data on the emotional well-being of individual students, as well as that of the school as a whole. This survey will help the district to meet the academic and emotional needs of the students.

“Most took the survey seriously; very few students didn’t. Others may feel that the school is reaching out more to its students and the emotional support criteria; however, this is only the first step and the school should continue to reach out to its students and provide the emotional support that is needed,” said junior Ryan Robinson.

Administration recognizes the lack of awareness among students about the supports available to them regarding their social-emotional needs. Due to this recognition, the district has hired a new Student Support Specialist, Alex Aronson, to find a way to directly connect with the students and make them aware that someone on campus is accessible daily.

“My role on campus is to support students’ social and emotional needs. I provide support to students by engaging in both prevention and intervention work, which entails things like classroom presentations or discussions and individual or group counseling support,” said Aronson.

In this new age, teens are more invested in their phones; the cost of this is the impact social media has on their emotional well being. According to Dr. Keller, 20-30% of students have difficulties that impact their educational performance, their social relationships and even the healthy choices that they make.

“The social emotional support system addresses an increase in heightened levels of stress, fear and worry,” said Keller. “We get a lot of anxiety and depression issues that come up that we really want try to help students to manage more effectively.”

Teens are especially prone to be going through some type of emotional struggle. They have large workloads, multiple social interactions and firing hormones, among other issues.  It’s a common misperception among teens that everyone else is happy, when in reality many could be internally conflicted.

“I think everyone struggles with some kind of emotional turmoil at a certain point – it’s just how we cope with the stress and bring ourselves back to stability. At LBUSD we follow a multi-tiered system of support model. In this model, data supports that 80-90% of all students’ needs are met with universal school supports; 5-10 % of students need more specific interventions (potentially group interventions); and 1-5% of students have higher needs where more intensive interventions are usually put in place,” said Aronson.  

The 20-minute survey that each student took will be used to gather information on the emotional well being of students, giving help to those students who express need, and determine the overall impact SES can have on students over time.

“The surveys are used for two big things. We are looking at system-wide gaps – like where do we need to focus our attention on improving the adults’ skills in helping support students’ social-emotional development,” said Keller.  “The second piece is actually finding out if there are individual students that we know of who are self reporting some areas of distress and that we are directly meeting with those students and offering some supports.”

Although students everywhere exhibit high levels of stress and worry about what is happening in their lives, only 4 states out of 50 states have adopted social and emotional standards for students.  In our district, the administration wants to help.

“Laguna Beach Unified has invested a lot of resources into trying to make a difference in the lives of students. This is the start of something that I think will be great over time.  If we implement the system, I think that students more and more will realize the positive benefits,” said Keller. “And even if they struggle, which is a normal part of life and growing up, they will have quick access to effective supports, and that’s what our goal is.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
The student news site of Laguna Beach High School
Student survey starts an era of new supports