Santa Cruz County's Healthy Student Project


Program Overview

         Here in Santa Cruz County, our community and culture is molded by our place on the U.S.-Mexico Border. The cast of local culture submerges itself in every household and lives within our education system.  In effect, our community naturally produces diverse students that learn to benefit from the existing cross-culture made up of Mexican heritage and American roots. Moreover, the complexity of both cultures may cause students some social and educational dilemmas trying to successfully navigate through their youth hood in our schools.


Furthermore, education is vital to the future success of our youth, especially within a community that breeds students who must learn two languages and adapt to a constantly changing academic climate. In November 2014, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted a new statewide achievement test named the AzMERIT. To help our students conform to new educational standards, the Santa Cruz County Healthy Students Project was made available by the U.S. Department of Education. The program will assist in a successful implementation of new educational standards associated with the AzMERIT and will also help establish and promote an educational identity for every students in the participating schools. ​​ 


Thus, due to new standards and assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, the Healthy Students Project has established a school counseling initiative to serve elementary students in grades 1 through 5 who attend the county’s schools of greatest need. Our mission is to instigate a scholarly culture early in each student’s educational career by expressing undivided interest in their educational goals, helping them meet their goals, and preventing any negative behavior from redirecting their path to success.

Healthy Student Program Goals

  • Implement the Character Counts curriculum that addresses student rectitude. This includes focusing on the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. This will presumptively lead to changed behavior and increased academic focus.

  • Dedicate teachers, counselors, and other educational professionals to further understand and familiarize themselves with students to conjure a positive relationship and ensure their educational success.
  • Educate and train both teachers and counselors to provide students with educational support and insight.
  • Provide counseling and other psychiatric services for young students to benefit from.
  • Stabilize students who are actively disruptive or have behavioral deficiencies to decrease the amount of student referrals.
  • Increase parental support through Parenting Programs and endorse participation in their child's education to increase each student's performance and interest in school.
  • Maximize each student's academic potential, social aptitude, emotional stability, and discover possible professional aspirations.
  • Strengthen existing programs which have proved to be successful while also addressing gaps in various school programs.
  • Establish a holistic approach aimed at developing healthy lifestyles both in and outside of the classroom.
  • And finally, reduce absenteeism by establishing educational principals that produce a positive stigma associated with "attending" school.
Six Pillars of Character

Participating Elementary Schools

  • Mary L. Welty Elementary School
  • A.J. Mitchell Elementary School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Challenger Elementary School
  • Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School
  • Bracker Elementary School
  • San Cayetano Elementary School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Calabasas Elementary School

Our Vision, Mission, and Commitment​


The Healthy Student Project was initiated in the Fall of 2015. Now going into the 3rd year of its inception the program is in a crucial stage. It is our vision to impose new standards of education, beginning with our elementary schools. Participating elementary schools have hired the required personnel and will begin to retrieve and assess feedback from the program after the end of the 2016-2017 school year. The main purpose is to help understand youthful students and prepare them psychologically for their success in education. By utilizing counselors and trained teaching professionals the students will be able to benefit from their guidance and motivation. And after concluding the 2017-2018 year we expect to see exceptional improvements for each student.​​​​Furthermore, the mission is to dedicate time to know students, mold teachers, and improve the academic culture.

​The Healthy Student Project allows our elementary schools to take advantage of additional human resources to gently drive every student in the right direction, both academically and in social aspects. More importantly, our teachers will be educated to refuse a collective approach and pursue individual improvements for each and every student. The program undoubtedly will be the first of its kind. So, being able to effect the student body as a whole but also build personalized attention for students in need is our prime objective.​​​​

With the implementation of this project each elementary school is committed to maintaining a safe learning culture. Thus, the addendum of "Character Counts" courses and other educational functions will deter students from negative behavior in the classroom and will result in an increase of achievement status for every student. Furthermore, the commitment to students will ensure staggering improvements in student behavior, attendance, and morale. And most importantly, through this project we will establish Parent Programs with high participation rates. Not many educational projects focus on education at home. Yes, homework is an at home educational strategy to cement newly learned knowledge but identifying each student's parents and provoking them to become involved in their child's education is relatively unusual. Thus, the Healthy Student Project will aim to increase parent participation in order to build academic motivation in their children.
Character Counts