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Wellness Center


Students at DFES who are feeling upset or under the weather can now visit our new Wellness Center. Although they are common in middle and high schools, DFES is one of only a few elementary schools in the San Francisco Unified School District to have a Wellness Center.


With the support of Principal Michelle Chang and the PTA, DFES Social Worker Rebecca Woodruff and School Nurse Katia Silva opened our Wellness Center in September 2016. Drawing from the El Dorado Elementary School model, they designed the Center to provide a safe space for all students to regulate their emotions, work out conflicts, and have their health needs met in the school setting. Students returning to class after a visit to the Wellness Center are more engaged in learning.


The Wellness Center has 3 stations:



In the Feelings Place students have access to tools and strategies aimed at managing strong feelings. Students may choose from the following "Cool Down Tools":

  1. Squeezies and Fidgets (tactile objects, items that encourage deep breathing, etc.)
  2. Music
  3. Writing
  4. Reading
  5. Art (drawing, coloring)
  6. Play-Doh
  7. Snuggle (Stuffies, Kimochis)
  8. Chill Out forts (cubbies with pillows and blankets)



The Talk It Out Area provides students with conflict resolution tools and support. Students have a space to respond to conflict using Restorative Practices. They have access to “problem solving chairs,” restorative practices tools (posters of circle guidelines and restorative practice questions, talking pieces, feelings reflection forms, etc.), and guidance from Wellness Center staff. For more information on Restorative Practices, feel free to ask one of our School Climate Team members or visit: http://www.healthiersf.org/RestorativePractices



In the Health Station, the school nurse provides students with medical care and lessons such as handwashing, yoga, and mindfulness.


The Wellness Center is already proving to be a great success. During the month of October, we had 301 visits of 137 individual students to at least one Center station. In addition to use of the stations, Ms. Woodruff and Ms. Silva use the Wellness Center space to run grade level lunch bunches and groups.


For more information about our Wellness Center, please contact Rebecca Woodruff at woodruffr@sfusd.edu or Katia Silva at silvak@sfusd.edu.