LifeSchool

LifeSchool is the Center’s school-based program in South Bay on the campus of Southwest High School. Within the two classrooms, the Center helps up to 22 special education students, 7th-12th grade, who are struggling emotionally and academically and need higher-level support than a traditional classroom to get back on a successful life track.

Students are referred from the Sweetwater Union High School District and are usually demonstrating poor performance in the classroom, both with school work and their behaviors. Many are struggling in their peer-to-peer relationships as well as with family members.

The behavioral health needs of the students vary from depression, anxiety, ADHD, disruptive behavior, and many others – usually with a combination of factors contributing to their cause. The commonality is that the behaviors are negatively affecting the students’ ability to succeed at school. All students are working with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that outlines their needs and builds a unique plan to meet their goals.

Therapeutic Team and Approach

The Center staff represents the therapeutic component of the school-based program. The highly-skilled, culturally-competent team care about each student’s success and are equipped to share many different tools and practices for students to achieve their goals. Additionally, the team is mostly comprised of South Bay natives who are very closely connected to the community. Our staff include:

  • Clinical Program Manager
  • Therapists
  • Child Development Counselors

Center staff work hand-in-hand with the Sweetwater school personnel to deliver an integrated day of academics and various styles of therapy and behavioral support. Based on the Center’s therapeutic approach and EMBRACE model, several forms of evidence-based therapies are used, as well as many adjunctive therapeutic activities. The goal is to use these techniques to help students gain – and retain – the necessary skills that will help them transition back into a mainstream school setting and to transfer these skills into their everyday life, improving their safety, health and well-being.

The therapeutic activities offered at LifeSchool include:

  • Individual and family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Expressive arts – music, painting and wordworking
  • Recreation – sports, games, social activities
  • Culinary Arts Day (every Friday)
  • Independent Living Skills/Financial Management classes

While the school employs the credentialed teachers, instructional aids and psychologist, all work to provide a seamless school-day experience that gives individualized attention to the student’s academic and behavioral health needs. The ultimate goal for each student is to discover strengths, build essential skills, and show that health, happiness and academic success is possible.

LifeSchool receives referrals through Sweetwater Union School District and the students’ Individual Education Plan.

For more information, please contact:

Erica Gomez-Aranda
Program Manager – LifeSchool
(858) 277-9550 ext 2401
egomez-aranda@centerforchildren.org