Santa Fe Public Schools: Office of Student Wellness
We know that when students feel included, welcome, and safe to be themselves, they are better able to fulfill their full potential in all areas of their lives, including school. SFPS strives to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for our transgender and non-binary students through the Office of Student Wellness’s Safe Zones Program and Gender Support Services.
The Safe Zones Program is a critical protective factor for creating safer school environments. By training school staff to recognize and how to interrupt the bullying, harassment, discrimination, bias, inequity, etc., that these students face, we create systems of support for marginalized youth in school. This past school year, 210 participants attended 10 Safe Zones Trainings. We currently have 150 official Safe Zones Partners that have completed the mandatory two-part training series.
The Gender Support Process provides a process for support and education on SFPS policies and resources available to transgender and non-binary students and their families. This process centers the student’s wishes, and empowers the student to decide how they would like to handle decisions such as name/pronouns used at school, bathroom and locker room usage, disclosure to other staff and students, and confidentiality. Training is also provided to administrators and staff on the policy and process, as well as educating on the importance of support for LGBTQ+ students. This past school year, 45 students were supported through formal gender support meetings, and many others were offered ongoing support as needed.
Jenn Jevertson, Assistant Director of the SFPS Office of Student Wellness, shares, “Perhaps my most important role at SFPS is ensuring that every single of our students have the support they need to be their full, authentic selves. It is my true honor and privilege to provide support to trans and non-binary students, as well as their families, so that they have the educational experience that they deserve.”
The Santa Fe Community Foundation invited its nonprofit grantees to submit stories related to its June topic of LGBTQ+ Pride.