Bakersfield City SD

Lillian Tafoya, Board President; Doc Ervin, Superintendent; Tim Fulenwider, Director Instructional Support Services; Terri Lindsey, Coordinator School Health; Isabel Bravo, School Health Clerk; Carla Garcia, School Social Worker; Deb Johnston, Nurse Practitioner School Health

School districts often struggle with addressing mental and physical health barriers that impact student attendance and academic learning without breaking the piggy bank. In order to address this barrier, the BCSD board created wellness centers to meet student vision, physical and mental health needs so as to support academic outcomes, reduce chronic absenteeism and increase equity for under-resourced populations. Each center utilizes a nurse practitioner, licensed clinical social worker and community facilitators to provide comprehensive physical and mental health supports. Vision care is provided through a partnership with One Sight Vision and ACE, a local eye care provider, so any student within BCSD can receive a free eye exam and glasses. The wellness centers serve as an innovative example of combining Local Control Funding Formula dollars, nonprofit and private resources to serve its 31,000-student community. Through this innovative practice, the BCSD Wellness Centers have provided services to over 13,000 students.