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Student Support Center

What is the Student Support Center?

The Student Support Center (formerly "Healthy Start") at Bret Harte Elementary school has been serving students and their families for nearly twenty years, providing activities, programs and supports that help students arrive at school ready to learn and assist in making each day at school a successful one.

The Student Support Center (SSC) is located in a modular building on the school's soccer field, and is staffed by a highly trained and experienced part-time Coordinator and School Social Worker, as well as several interns and volunteers.  Funding for the SSC is allocated in part by the Bret Harte School Site Council, with additional funds provided by the Student Support & Health Services department at SCUSD.  For every dollar spent on SSC staffing, eight dollars in community supports and services are leveraged.  In addition to providing high-quality, research-based and personalized supports to students and families, each year SSC staff bring in hundreds of dollars in donated goods and services from a myriad of community partners, including:
  • Assistance League of Sacramento
  • Building Healthy Communities Sacramento
  • California State University, Sacramento - Division of Nursing
  • California State University, Sacramento - Division of Social Work
  • Center for Fathers and Families
  • La Familia Counseling Center
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Sacramento
  • River Oak Center for Children
  • Sacramento County Child ACCESS
  • Sacramento District Dental Society/Smiles for Kids program
  • Safe School Ambassadors program
  • UC Davis Health System
  • Vanir Foundation
  • WayUp Sacramento
  • ...and more!

Why Does Bret Harte Have a Student Support Center?

Services provided by the SSC are responsive - there is no "one size fits all" approach to meeting the individual needs of our students. Staff are intentional in their approach to identifying the right interventions for each student, working directly with parents, teachers, administrators and even coordinating with other service providers. Research shows that students who have their social-emotional needs met, do better in school - they score higher, they behave better and they succeed more often. 

Imagine a student's backpack if you will - what might you find inside?  Some paper, a textbook or two, perhaps some crayons.  What you may not see in that backpack is a hungry tummy, a recent death in the family, the stress of financial struggles, the impact of bullying by peers, or a host of other social-emotional distractions that come to school with our students each day.  They are there, inhibiting their ability to absorb the information being provided by their teacher, and the opportunities to learn presented in the classroom. 

SSC staff work to identify and address the "invisible" issues in student's backpacks, so that they - and their peers - can focus on their studies and experience success. Some of the ways that the SSC supports students are as follows:

  • Access to basic needs resources (clothing, food, shelter, transportation)
  • Bullying prevention and intervention
  • Health education and physical activity programs
  • Mental health counseling and family counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Psycho-educational and social skills groups
  • School uniforms and hygiene kits
  • Tutoring
  • ...and more!

Who Works at the SSC and When Can I Visit?

The SSC is funded by site-allocated dollars.  This means that the Bret Harte community - parents, teachers, administrators and students - value the services provided and choose to use discretionary funds to keep the SSC open each year.  Staff are available based on the amount of funding provided to the District for services. Currently our hours of operation are as follows:

  • Monday - 7:30am to 4:00pm
  • Tuesday - CLOSED
  • Wednesday - 7:30am to 4:00pm
  • Thursday - 7:30am to 4:00pm
  • Friday - CLOSED

We are staffed by a part-time Coordinator (16 hours per week), and two Social Work interns.  

If you would like to request services or refer a student/family for services, please download our Referral Form.  Once completed, you may email it to or turn it in at the front office. 

For more information about our services, view our 2016-17 Annual Report.