Healthy Start Strengthens Student Performance

Westchester Healthy Start serves some 135 students this fall at Westchester High School, Westchester Math Science Aerospace Magnet High School and Del Rey High School with a variety of student support and safety programs aimed at improving academic performance.

Of 25 case managed students last year, 100% improved in attendance; all but one had fewer suspensions, and all but one maintained or improved their GPA, three from 90 to over 100%.

The following programs help support the Healthy Start mission:  to serve students in the Westchester area with the physical and mental health, human services and learning support needed to maximize achievement.

Counseling Eleven therapists from Airport Marina Counseling Service and one from Vista Del Mar Child & Family Services, together with their supervisors, work from the Healthy Start building each week, counseling students in both group and individual settings.

Thirty-seven Westchester High and Magnet students and all 35 students from Del Rey are seen in weekly counseling sessions. These students have concerns ranging from depression to disruptive behavior to grief to poor academic performance. Some have trouble adjusting to the stresses of high school. Others are victims of violence, both in the home and in the community. Some are in foster care or have parents who are incarcerated. Others have legal problems due to truancy.

Tutoring Twenty-five students from Loyola Marymount University are on campus two days a week to tutor Westchester students. They work one-on-one or with small groups. Most tutoring is in math—algebra and geometry, with some trigonometry. Other subjects include English, health, science and history.

Hannon program Twenty-five students and their parents participate in the William H. Hannon program. This program involves Saturday morning classes in algebra and English for students and in parenting and life skills for parents, in addition to weekly tutoring. Hannon students are given agendas to keep track of their assignments, which are checked daily by their parents and weekly by their tutors. 

Collaborative  The Westchester Healthy Start/Village Policing Collaborative meets every other month to discuss various campus and community concerns. Parents, faculty, staff and administrators form the backbone of the collaborative. Some 20 member agencies work with youth in intervention and prevention programs. Community members, local businesses, school and local police, the probation department, and the bus companies and their enforcement agencies make up the safety wing of the collaborative, which emphasizes enforcement.

Walk-a-Thon An annual Walk-a-Thon is held to raise funds for Healthy Start, a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charitable corporation. A regular schedule of grants are written, and individual and corporate donations are appreciated.