Tony Thurmond Heralds Chula Vista Elementary Schools as Model for the State

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond visited two elementary schools in Chula Vista last week to see how teachers and staff are supporting students in the in-person learning environment. The schools — Castle Park Elementary and Joseph Casillas Elementary — are located in a community that was devastated by the pandemic. The schools are about 5 miles from the US-Mexico border and 68% Latino.

The two-day tour left Thurmond feeling hopeful and inspired.

“These schools are a model for the state and nation in how we support students while recovering from this pandemic and preparing for a full return to in-person learning,” Thurmond said. “Through inspiring investments in school-based mental health support, comprehensive safety measures such as rapid COVID testing, and engaging instruction individualized to student needs, families should feel confident that schools like these are the safest, best places for their children.”

Both Castle Park Elementary and Joseph Casillas Elementary are part of the Chula Vista Elementary School District. Some of the schools’ social-emotional wellness features, detailed in a CDE press release, include:

  • 53 school psychologists (every school has a school psychologist)
  • A minimum of two days of counseling available for each non-charter school
  • Site-based social workers/counselors providing support at 11 sites
  • District social workers at nine sites
  • A mental health service partnership with South Bay Community Services (SBCS) for the remaining 21 sites; SBCS’s Community Assessment Team provides additional one to two days of case management for CVESD’s 10 highest unduplicated student sites

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