It’s hard to believe we are already more than two months into the 2021-22 school year. I appreciate the effort of teachers, staff, students, and families to work together through some trying times as we continue to navigate Covid challenges. Covid protocols are updated in the CJUSD Playbook and available online at www.centerusd.org
To celebrate our incredible employees and showcase points of pride, I am adding a monthly spotlight to our article, beginning with Ryan Miranda, Coordinator of the Student and Family Support Services (SFSS) office located at the District Office Annex.
Ryan grew up in and around south Sacramento and Elk Grove and is a graduate of the California State University of Sacramento. He and his wife, Melissa, manage their respective careers and a growing family. Together with their daughter, Ellie Kay, and dog, Arden, the Miranda family will get a little bit bigger with the arrival of baby Dylan in December.
Ryan came to CJUSD with a wide array of educational experience as a Transitions Coordinator/Counselor for the Solano County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community School and a middle and high school counselor. He taught independent living life skills, managed mentoring and youth development programs, and coached volleyball. Coming from a position where he served seven districts, Ryan wanted to work somewhere where there was a small-town feel and a strong sense of community. He has found that in CJUSD. Ryan explains, “People really know each other and offer up help whenever needed. Staff start their careers here and never leave and that was exactly what I was looking for when coming back to work in Sacramento County.”
The Student and Family Support Services (SFSS) office has evolved over the decades from Healthy Start to the Family Resource Center and now Student and Family Support Services. When asked the significance of the name change, Ryan explained, “Even though family can be seen as all-encompassing we wanted to specifically call out students, as we provide direct services to students. I believe we go beyond just being a resource for our families. I felt it was time for a change to match our growth and scope of work.”
The mission of the SFSS is to ensure all students have equal access to free education, eliminate barriers to school success and help ensure a positive outcome for every CJUSD student. The SFSS team strives to create a supportive and welcoming environment for students and families experiencing homelessness and students in foster care. They utilize community & mental health resources, make referrals, and offer program support to schools concerning social/emotional learning and mental health programs. SFSS provides students and families with access to backpacks, school supplies, clothing, possible transportation assistance, and health/vision care referrals. Staff provides case management and mentoring services and have expanded the food pantry with grocery boxes for students and families needing food support.
The SFSS provides students and staff with engaging learning opportunities, tools focused on emotional and mental well-being and creating a positive school climate. Additionally, family education and other training associated with educational, health, social services, and other related needs of families and students are offered throughout the school year as Family Engagement Sessions. SFSS takes a collaborative approach to empower and uplift our families to be our partners in supporting their student’s success and to ensure all families are receiving the same information and opportunities.
Families should be on the lookout for advertisements through site and district communication on Family Engagement Sessions. Topics such as anxiety and supporting mental well-being, supporting families through social-emotional learning, and supporting parenting the love and logic way will be offered. Families can also check out the Student and Family Support Services webpage for more information and other resources: www.centerusd.org/Families/Family-Resources
Many students and families navigate everyday challenges but the pandemic has brought them to the surface. Struggles such as job loss, home loss, food insecurity, grief, and trauma look different for everyone. Combine all those stressors with returning to school, work, having a personal or social life and it becomes a lot to handle. Ryan’s advice to parents is to “know that you are not alone. Reach out for support. Talk to someone. Try taking each day one day at a time and try looking for one positive each day. Celebrate victories, big or small.”
Over the next five years, the SFSS will continue growing with the times, identifying the needs
of our CJUSD community and continuing to create proactive systems of support to ensure a better present and future for our students and families.
Thank you to Ryan Miranda and the entire SFSS team for being a beacon of light for students, families, staff, and our Center community.
A New Look for CJUSD
The Center Joint Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. School and district programs, activities and services shall be free from unlawful discrimination based on actual or perceived sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, ancestry, ethnic group identification, gender, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, or sexual harassment in any district service, program and/or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance. The district shall promote programs, which ensure that unlawful discriminatory practices are eliminated in all school and district activities.