SEARLES STAFF: Searles' staff are collaborative, valued, and engaged partners in providing students with equitable and positive experiences and outcomes. Many staff at Searles have been in the community for generations and were once Searles students themselves. This really highlights the strong dedication and commitment that many folks raised in Union City have in giving back to their community.
CONNECTION: Families and community members are engaged and informed partners in students’ educational experiences and outcomes. The school communicates with families in various ways, one of which being a monthly newsletter that shares the activities happening that month as well as resources for families. Maritza has been able to share mental-health related resources that have been included in these newsletters, which has been a great way for us to integrate into and offer support to the larger Searles community!
COMMUNITY CAFÉ: At Searles, the family resource specialist hosts weekly Friday Community Cafes to bring the community together and offer a variety of presentations by various community organizations through New Haven School District partnerships. Maritza has been able to present on various mental-health related topics to support Searles’ families in best supporting their children with their overall well-being.
SENECA PARTNERSHIP: Seneca has been in partnership with Searles for a number of years now, providing mental health services at all tiers. One Tier 3 support Maritza has been offering the past couple of years has been seasonal staff wellness workshops as this need emerged following the transition back to school post-pandemic. This fall, Maritza invited school staff to paint pumpkins during their lunch time, which provided an opportunity to socialize, build community, and engage in a fun and relaxing activity. Other activities Maritza has facilitated for staff include painting healing rocks and making sensory candles. This has been very appreciated by the Searles staff!