We agree- mental health is just as important as physical health, especially for children. At Wyatt Academy, we supplement our academic success with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and mental health support. We have a full time social worker and philosophy that recognizes the whole family throughout the year. We are a tuition-free, public, K-5 community school, serving the Cole-Whittier neighborhood, and achieving amazing academic and social-emotional results.
Wyatt Academy, thanks in part to our award-winning academic leader Melody Means, developed an innovative mental health support program – even before COVID shook us all.
When asked how students thrive emotionally and socially at Wyatt, Ms. Means explains the support model that she and the social worker, Jamie Ehrenkranz, built to be more effective than a traditional behavior modification system. “We worked hard to build this vision of our discipline philosophy. It's important to us that we're just not coming in with consequences- that we are utilizing our social worker and building a program for students to support any social skills that they're missing.”
What is a school social worker’s role? “School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals with a degree in social work who provide services related to a person's social, emotional and life adjustment to school and/or society. School Social Workers are the link between the home, school and community in providing direct as well as indirect services to students, families and school personnel to promote and support students' academic and social success.” - School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA).
We invite families in for a strategic meeting to discuss any behavior concerns, introduce our social worker, and implement a cooperative plan on how we are all going to support the whole child, together as a team.
“We keep them going with that [plan] throughout the school year so that my social worker is not just a social worker who jumps in at any time, but she's an integral part of the way we're dealing with all different behaviors in the school.”
The recommended ratio of social work services in school is 250 students to one social worker. We are one of few public schools (less than 3 percent of schools nationwide) who meet this recommendation and have such a robust program in place. Why? Ensuring mental health is integral to learning capabilities of students. In addition to helping our elementary students grow as healthy individuals, we hope we develop leaders for positive change in our community.
Our holistic approach works. As a community-centric school, welcoming the community beyond the families of enrolled students to our many services, we take care of the whole community, and everyone benefits. When we support the whole child, the future benefits.
“I could preach about how great that's working out and how it builds relationships with our families. We're supporting every piece of what's going on.”
By cultivating an environment that supports community, opportunity, wonder, and joy, we nurture students to reach their full potential. We see this as an amazing way to create a positive ripple effect throughout our community.
Families who are embracing school choice may be trying to learn how schools are supporting their students beyond academics. This might not be easy to show on a website or curriculum. We understand. Words inadequately describe our energy and thriving support. You feel it the minute you walk through the doors of our beautiful historic building. We invite you to take a tour of our tuition free public school for students K-5 and feel our vibe for yourself. Somos Wyatt! We Are Wyatt! Join the joy and enroll today!
Denver’s Wyatt Academy nurtures K-5 students with expeditionary learning and our motivational spirit. Our students experience the power of community, the wonder of seeking knowledge, the joy of celebrating achievements, and the opportunity to grow through the arts. Sharing our garden plots, mini pitch, and Empowerment Center, we feel our essential connection to our community. We are magnetic energy. We are closing the achievement gap. We are Wyatt! Somos Wyatt! Enroll with us today!