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SRCS September Updates: Suicide Prevention Month; Student Board Reps; Open Board Seat; Revised Strategic Plan & More

Posted Date: 9/15/23 (11:35 AM)

Message from the Superintendent

Dear San Rafael City Schools Community,
September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time when we can all learn more about playing a role in suicide prevention so we are more equipped to help prevent this tragedy with our youth. Several community-based partners throughout Marin have come together to build a safe and healthy community through awareness and education. Learn about their many planned events this month.
As a District, we have enhanced our mental health and wellness programs and services, including:
  • Wellness Centers at Davidson Middle School, San Rafael High School and Terra Linda High School are providing a layer of much-needed targeted support with a focus on prevention, intervention and postvention activities related to student physical health, mental health, reproductive health and substance use/abuse education. Thanks to the centers' mental health professionals on staff, our campuses are engaging in meaningful suicide awareness and prevention efforts.

  • Family Centers at targeted elementary schools are thriving with SRCS staff to offer many integrated services to students and families, including on-site mental health support. Through the community schools model, we are also increasing our mental health networks with community-based organizations.

  • Counseling staff that was added in the past few years at our elementary schools has been sustained to support the school counseling teams, community organizations and existing support systems to build and strengthen each school’s social-emotional learning program for all students. Furthermore, we have added bilingual counselors to several targeted schools.  
Suicide is a complex public health issue that can be prevented. Knowing the signs, where and how to access resources and eliminating the stigma of mental health needs are effective prevention strategies. If you or someone you know needs help, please know that you are not alone. Here are some resources:


Carmen Diaz Ghysels

Welcome Student Board Reps

At the Board of Education meeting on Sept. 11, we welcomed our 2023-24 Student Board Members. Pictured (left to right) as they're being sworn in by Board President Gina Daly: Giselle King Morales, Venetia Valley School; Riley Eugene, Davidson Middle School; Tess Waddy, Terra Linda High School; Marguerite Walden-Kaufman, San Rafael High School; and Keila Sem Hernandez, Madrone High School. 

Student Board Members play an integral role in SRCS, including providing regular updates on school events, activities, programs and curriculum as we as bringing student voice to the Board table by sharing perspective, background and experiences.
Open Board Seat for Area 3

After more than 17 years, Linda Jackson officially ended her tenure as a SRCS Board member at the end of August. We're grateful for her distinguished service to our students, families and staff and wish her the best as she relocates to Oregon to be closer to family. 

As a reminder, the Board has launched a provisional appointment process to fill the open seat. Anyone who applies must reside in Trustee Area 3 and will serve through 2024, which is the remainder of the term. 

The application is available here; completed applications are due by Oct. 3 at 4 pm. Public interviews of candidates will take place at a Special Board Meeting on Oct. 9 at 4 pm. Learn more.

Coming Soon: Revised Strategic Plan

Grounded in our vision for student success, several years ago the District undertook an extensive journey with our greater SRCS community to develop our three-year strategic plan - Together 2024. The plan articulates our District's values, culture, Graduate Profile, goals and strategic actions, which guide our work to ensure all students achieve and thrive to their fullest potential. 

Using the plan as a foundation, we look forward to engaging with our SRCS community this school year to update and refine our strategic plan. There will be a taskforce guiding the work, along with several opportunities for our students, staff, families and partners to share feedback and input. Please stay tuned for more details!

Apply Now: Citizen Bond Oversight Committee

SRCS has a Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee to provide a high level of accountability and transparency in the implementation of the District's bond program. The committee independently reviews the expenditure of money for the construction, repair and modernization of our schools. The findings are shared with the Board of Education and the public in order to ensure that school bond funds are invested as the voters intended and that projects are completed wisely and efficiently. 

The CBOC is comprised of voluntary representatives, and is seeking new members! We encourage interested, qualified members of the SRCS community to apply. To learn more about joining, please review the committee bylaws, which contain the criteria for the committee's makeup and how to qualify. Download an application.

Air Quality and COVID Guidance

SRCS continues to partner with and follow guidance from Marin County Public Health and the Marin County Office of Education regarding health and safety protocols. Below are updates from these partners, which serve as our guides for our schools, students and staff.  

Youth Substance Use Prevention Programs

Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships is an important community partner and resource that focuses on reducing underage drinking and drug use so students can have the best outcomes both in and outside of school. Eleventh graders in Marin County report using alcohol and drugs at a rate two times higher than the state average. This is an issue that takes an entire community to change. Please check out these prevention programs and consider participating.
  • Raising the Bar - keep youth events substance free. This program has been adopted by all SRCS schools. The purpose is to encourage healthy modeling at youth oriented events by not consuming alcohol or other substances. You can support this program by keeping youth events like birthday parties, Halloween celebrations, prom parties and youth sporting celebrations free of alcohol or other drugs.  
  • Let’s Talk is a booklet mailed to all ninth grade families and Let’s Start Talking is mailed to all sixth grade families. The booklets are toolkits full of research and data on how best to navigate middle and high school when your student is faced with decisions around substance use and other topics. It is available online to everyone in English and Spanish at There are also four community discussions during the school year.
  • Be the Influence encourages parents to communicate with one another when hosting youth at their home or when their child goes to a friend’s house. BTI parents agree to abide by local Social Host Ordinance laws which prohibit underage drinking and drug use at parties and other events in the home. Join other parents in their Facebook group
  • Numb or Nourish helps parents with coping and modeling healthy choices by providing science and tools for the entire family. 
Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships is dedicated to protecting our young people. Learn more.

SR2S News

We’re proud to partner with Marin County Safe Routes to School, whose mission is to increase the number of children walking and biking to school. Their initiatives integrate health, fitness, traffic relief, environmental awareness and safety.

Check out the fall edition of their newsletter that covers their plans for the fall, the return of the Buddy Up! Contest, a plea for e-Bike safety, their new volunteer coordinator, funds allocated for infrastructure that will help walkers and rollers and more.

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