District receives $11 million wellness grant

On New Year’s Day, 2023, Conejo Valley Unified School District received a grant of $11.3 million from California’s state government for January 2023 through December 2027. While this grant is part of a multi-pronged approach, the money will focus on programs aimed at assisting students with their mental health.

Steve Lepire, Principal of Newbury Park High School, offered information about what the grant’s money will go toward and what approach the district plans to take. “We’re going to hire more personnel to restructure how we organize all of the mental health services in the school district,” Lepire said. The district plans on massively expanding the services it provides, as there are currently more than 16,000 students who attend school in the Conejo Valley Unified School District.

The district plans on adding 15 new positions, including but not limited to a project director, an administrative assistant and a senior mental health clinician. Dr. Shanna Egans, Assistant Superintendent of CVUSD, “This funding comes at a perfect time. Our goal is to provide as many mental health services as needed,” Egans said.

The district currently has 10 wellness centers across 10 high schools and middle schools, and the grant is expected to fund them for the next five years. The district hopes that it can expand these services to include both group and individual counseling. The end goal of this grant is to make sure that students feel they can succeed and are satisfied with their mental state.