Wellness OverviewTop of Page

WCSS Model

10 Components of WCSS:

1. Health Education

2. Physical Education & Activity

3. Nutrition Education/Services

4. Health Services

5. Counseling/Psychological/Social Services

6. School & Emotional Climate

7. Physical Environment

8. Employee Wellness

9. Community Involvement

10. Family Engagement
These ten Core Components are the foundation for the nationally recognized Whole Community, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model. This focus on wellness in the schools highlights the fact that health is academic. Explore the tabs above for more details on these 10 Core Components. 

Health Education

Health education helps students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy, adopting health-enhancing behaviors, and promoting the health of others. Comprehensive school health education includes curricula and instruction that address a variety of topics such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention, healthy eating/nutrition, mental and emotional health, personal health and wellness, physical activity, safety and injury prevention, sexual health, and violence prevention. 
Health Connected offers a two-week-long sex education curriculum in SUHSD schools. 
SUHSD has been a leader in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) education. The District piloted a one-of-a-kind cutting-edge Neuroscience of Addiction (NOA) curriculum with over 1,500 9th grade Life Skills classes in 2017. Next year the NOA curriculum will be expanded to all 9th grade Life Skills classes across the District. 

Physical Ed/Activity

Schools can create an environment that offers many opportunities for students to be physically active throughout the school day. Physical education provides cognitive content and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for healthy active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy, and emotional intelligence.

The SUHSD's PE Department is committed to providing a well-rounded physical education curriculum. In addition to encouraging students to participate in a variety of activities and sports, the department also offers nutrition and safety education.

Effective since the 2012-2013 school year, all 9th graders in the district receive the American Heart Association's Family and Friends CPR training.

Most recently, with funding from the Dignity Health Foundation, SUHSD has started ImPACT testing of student athletes and Brainbook, a concussion curriculum in 9th grade PE. 

Nutrition Environ/Services

Healthy eating has been linked in studies to improved learning outcomes and helps ensure that students are able to reach their potential. The school nutrition environment provides students with opportunities to learn about and practice healthy eating through available foods and beverages, nutrition education, and messages about food in the cafeteria and throughout the school campus. 

School nutrition services provide meals that meet federal nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, accommodate the health and nutrition needs of all students, and help ensure that foods and beverages sold outside of the school meal programs meet Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. 

SUHSD supports a healthy school nutrition environment by marketing and promoting healthier foods and beverages, encouraging participation in the school meal programs, role-modeling healthy eating behaviors, and ensuring that students have access to filtered drinking water throughout the school day. All our campuses are equipped with water dispensers to promote optimal hydration.


Health Services


Counseling, psychological, and social needs in the SUHSD are supported by a wide variety of services and programs. Each school site provides support through a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) approach. Issues addressed include: stress, anxiety/depression, suicide prevention, addiction, and bullying, among many others.

Of the 10 Core Components, mental health is one of the top priorities for the SUHSD. School mental health leads have been meeting on monthly basis since in 2011, with the goal of coordinating and collaborating across the district.

2018-19 Mental Health Leads
 Carlmont  Shelley Bustamante   abustamante@seq.org
 Menlo-Atherton  Miki Cristerna  mcristerna@seq.org
 Woodside  Sara Grace Vann  svann@seq.org
 Sequoia  Judy Romero  jromero@seq.org
 Redwood  Laurie Karzan  lkarzen@seq.or
  East Palo Alto  Marco Calderon      mcalderon@seq.org


School Climate

Social and Emotional School Climate refers to the psycho-social aspects of students’ educational experience that influence their social and emotional development. The social and emotional climate of a school can impact student engagement in school activities; relationships with other students, staff, family, and community; and academic performance. A positive social and emotional school climate is conducive to effective teaching and learning. Such climates promote health, growth, and development by providing a safe and supportive learning environment.
Starting 2018, SUHSD will administer the Panorama survey to gather data on school climate. Past data collected from the California Health Kids Survey (CHKS) can be found on kidsdata.org.

Physical Environment

A healthy and safe physical school environment promotes learning by ensuring the health and safety of students and staff. The physical school environment encompasses the school building and its contents, the land on which the school is located, and the area surrounding it. A healthy school environment will address a school’s physical condition during normal operation as well as during renovation (e.g., ventilation, moisture, temperature, noise, and natural and artificial lighting), and protect occupants from physical threats (e.g., crime, violence, traffic, and injuries) and biological and chemical agents in the air, water, or soil as well as those purposefully brought into the school (e.g., pollution, mold, hazardous materials, pesticides, and cleaning agents). 
The SUHSD is committed to ensuring the safety of each student and staff member. Each school site has a disaster plan in place. The district is developing an Incident Command System (ICS), which is "a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response" designed to deal with incidents of any size or scope.
Click the name to send an email message:
Navas, Enrique
Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services
Ext. 22217 

Employee Wellness

The SUHSD is committed to addressing this component by first taking a look at stress management and frequently offers PD for staff on wellness topics. Refer to the Professional Development and Curriculum Department homepage for information.

Employees also have access to the District's Employee Assistance Program. Programs like Quiet Time at Redwood High School and Mindfulness at Sequoia High School also incorporates stress reduction techniques for the benefit of both students and staff.
The Wellness Advisory Council (WAC) also publishes a quarterly wellness newsletter for all District staff. You may find past issues under WAC Newsletter Archives on the bottom of the page.

Community Involvement

The District has enjoyed longstanding relationships and collaborations with various community partners. 

The District's wellness efforts have been generously supported since Fall 2011, by the Sequoia Healthcare District through their Healthy Schools Initiative (HSI) grant. This grant supports the positions of the district's Wellness Coordinator and a full time credentialed school nurse, in addition to numerous mental health and social service programs, and reproductive health education.

Family Engagement

The SUHSD is committed to reaching out to a very diverse student population by offering a wide variety of parent education topics, and providing translation when possible. Each school site offers an engaging and dynamic parent education program, which is open to all parents and families in the district. Check this site regularly for updates on each site's program.

Click on the name to send an email message:
Margot, Charlene
The Parent Education Series, Founder / Program Director

District Wellness CoordinatorTop of Page

Contact Dr. Dr. Li  (Ext. 22390)
Dr. Karen Li is the Wellness Coordinator for the Sequoia Union High School District, overseeing 9,000 teens and their families, spanning five high schools. Through generous support from the Sequoia Healthcare District’s Healthy Schools Initiative, Dr. Li identifies health and safety needs, formulates plans and goals, provides vision and leadership, and collaborates with a wide variety of district staff and community partners. 
Prior to working as a Wellness Coordinator, Dr. Li was a pediatrician in both San Diego and San Mateo.  She has particularly enjoyed working with the adolescent patients in her practice, so this current job with the high school district has proven to be a very good fit.  Dr. Li earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from UCLA and her M.D. from UCSF, and then completed her pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital, Oakland.  She has a daughter and son in college, and along with her husband has enjoyed the challenge and experience of raising two teens.

WACTop of Page

The SUHSD Wellness Advisory Council (WAC) was formed in 2005, and began work on new requirements for nutrition, health education, and physical activity. WAC has been an active leader in the wellness arena since that time. WAC meets once every two months during the school year, and the committee members bring to the table a wide variety of skills and expertise. Students, parents, teachers, health professionals, counseling/administrative staff, and Board members work alongside community members and outside agencies to discuss all aspects of wellness.
WAC Committee
 2017-18 WAC Executive Committee