El Segundo Unified School District

Transforming Education for a Changing World


September 15, 2022

 ESUSD is committed to self-improvement and doing everything we can to prevent bullying in our schools. ESUSD employs a caring and compassionate workforce whose primary goal is to strive to promote the social and emotional well-being of all students and foster a positive learning environment and culture for everyone in our schools. The District offers a two-prong approach to ensure every student develops a sense of belonging while at school. This comprehensive approach includes a wide-array of social emotional/mental health supports and best practices in safety and security to address concerns.


ESUSD actively seeks and implements best practices, programs and professional development to sustain a foundation of social/emotional and mental health support for its staff and students.  While the school district cannot solve the depth of societal ills in the greater world, nor eliminate personal trauma that leads to disruptive behaviors, nor fully counter the negative influences of social media portrayals and instigations, ESUSD strives to maintain a safe learning environment in which all students can thrive.

 Following is an overview of some of the ways in which ESUSD takes conscious intentional efforts to support the well-being of its community.


TECHNOLOGY MONITORING: In 2021, ESUSD purchased technology support services through Gaggle which flags concerning content in students’ school-issued accounts. Gaggle helps ESUSD see the early warning signs so staff can take action to protect students from harming themselves or others—before it is too late. Severe situations concerning student mental health or safety are alerted to district-appointed contacts who are immediately notified by phone, even after standard business hours, providing an essential resource that allows appropriate intervention to occur in a timely manner.

 ANONYMOUS REPORTING SYSTEMS: In the spirit of “see something, say something,” ESUSD has always encouraged students to speak to trusted staff members directly and instantly about safety concerns as the sharing of firsthand experience aids investigation. Simultaneously, the district has long welcomed anonymous reporting of concerns: in the earlier times, this was achieved mainly through the dropping of hand-written notes in locked boxes that staff would regularly check. Following the recommendation of the security consultant Actus in 2018, the District shifted to a digital anonymous reporting system, Sprigeo, for all students and staff to utilize. In 2021, ESUSD upgraded its anonymous reporting system to WeTip, using the Catapult Emergency Management System.

 EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TRAINING & PRACTICES: With the implementation of the RULER program in 2019, ESUSD creates conscious conversations and awareness about emotions to sustain a culture of healthy learning and working environments. RULER practices train both staff and fellow students to see when others are in need of support which can help prevent students from becoming either side of the bullying coin. Homeroom class teachers embed lessons and discussions on emotional awareness into their regular practices with students.

 FOCUS ON INCLUSION: In 2020, a district-wide focus on inclusion to make all our students feel seen, heard, supported and loved was a natural progression from the installation of the RULER program. When students feel welcome, respected for who they are and safe, they thrive educationally, socially and emotionally.

 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Annually, all employees are trained on topics to help keep students safe including Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention, and Multi-Tiered System of Support

 EXPANDED ON-CAMPUS COUNSELOR AND PSYCHOLOGIST SUPPORT: ESUSD is grateful for the work the El Segundo Education Foundation does to bolster counseling services: in 2018, this funding helped by adding two additional counselors to further support students. During 2021-22, ESUSD added an additional school psychologist.  Also in 2021-22, ESUSD added a district Intensive Behavior Interventionist.

 SOUTH BAY FAMILIES CONNECTED: In 2018, ESUSD established an on-going relationship with South Bay Families Connected to create an online Social Emotional Wellness Resource that includes access to articles, a guest speaker series, contacts, networks, and tools to support student well-being.

 CARE SOLACE: In 2018, ESUSD entered into an on-going agreement with Care Solace to provide vetted mental health and drug treatment resources for students and families as well as direct support to District counselors.  Care Solace, a complimentary and confidential coordination service provided by El Segundo Unified School District is reachable multiple ways: 

  • Call 888-515-0595. Support is available 24/7/365 in any language.
  • Visit caresolace.com/elsegundoparents and either search on your own OR click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone.

 SOUTH BAY CHILDREN’S HEALTH CENTER: ESUSD partners with this agency to provide temporary intensive therapeutic support to students in need. These services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each school’s student body.

 DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES:  The District utilizes its Behavior Matrix to set clear expectations and consequences for particular offenses.  The District cannot freely or easily suspend or expel students who do not commit certain levels of physical harm, drug-related incidents or other criminal acts. California Education Code (ECEC Section 48915 covers this, and Section 48900 covers the Multi-Tiered System of Supports, all of which is referenced in the Student Handbooks signed by every family every year. The right to access to a public education is strong. Please also know that while there are consequences for bad behaviors, they are not shared publicly due to student privacy mandates.


TRANSITIONAL PEER-TO-PEER CONNECTIONS: We are grateful for community partnerships like Kiwanis that directly support our WEB at ESMS and LINK Crew at ESHS programs in secondary school: both are intentional efforts to make all students feel connected and welcome as soon as they transition to these schools, at very formative ages in social/emotional development.

 RED RIBBON WEEK: Schools participate in a week of activities every year to promote mental and physical health and help them demonstrate positive, pro-social behaviors.

 STUDENT-RUN CLUBS:  Both ESMS and ESHS offer student-run clubs facilitated by an ESUSD teacher.  Clubs offer students the chance to socialize and explore common interests.  Many clubs also specifically address mental health and wellness including the Friendship Circle at ESMS and ESHS, and the Mental Health Movement at ESHS.

 ESMS IB LEARNER PROFILE AND ESHS EAGLE PRIDE: The International Baccalaureate Program ingrains positive character attributes into the curriculum. Monthly awards are given to students that demonstrate the monthly theme.  At ESHS, students learn EAGLE Pride to show respect, demonstrate integrity, and persevere through problems. 

 CURRICULUM EMBEDDED TOOLS:  Students learn the importance of self-advocacy and being environmental stewards through the curriculum.  The ESMS Community Project and the ESHS Capstone courses, for example, develop skills in students that teach them to care of one another and for the world around them.

 AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS: It’s important for students to regularly hear positive messages.  Awareness campaigns such as Bulldogs not Bullies at ESMS or Dude Be Nice at ESHS remind students of positive behaviors on a regular basis.

 ASSEMBLIES: Guest speakers at both ESMS and ESHS address the entire student body on topics such as mental health, kindness, and healthy lifestyles.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING: As mandated in the California Healthy Youth Act, all 7th grade PE students and high school Biology students learn principles of safe physical behaviors and interpersonal relationships.

 SOUTH BAY WELLNESS GROUPS @ ESMS: Local therapists operate 8-week groups to help students develop mindfulness, assertiveness, and emotional regulation. These groups further deepen and build upon the RULER program.

 ESHS AVID STUDENT EXERCISES: Classes and cohorts support students with study habits, self-discipline, goal-setting and other positive academic practices to help them reach their maximum potential.


COUGARS CARE: At Center Street School, staff focuses on promoting the school culture tenets of Community, Authenticity, Resilience, and Excellence (CARE) in an effort to foster a safe and compassionate learning environment. For decades prior to the pandemic, PTA volunteers taught the program of Character Counts to each classroom, based upon the six pillars of Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship, to promote core ethical values, and these are now supported through the CARE program.

 WATER: At Richmond Street School, staff follows a motto of We Activate, Transform, and Empower at Richmond (WATER) that guides their work with students to inspire students to be their best, and to make their world a better place. Core values encompass those of Character Counts and other positive attributes in order to create a welcoming campus culture.

 CONFLICT ACTION TEAM (CAT): Fifth graders at both elementary skills can apply to serve as youth facilitators on the younger playgrounds, helping to keep the peace amongst the student body and serve as positive role models.

 BUCKET FILLING BOOK, READ-ALOUDS & ACTIVITIES: Classroom themes in Readers’ Workshop or read-aloud book selections by teachers often focus on kindness.

 RED RIBBON WEEK: PTA volunteers and staff coordinate a week of activities every year to promote kindness and caring for one another.

 SCHOOL SPIRIT DAYS: Student Council hosts a week of fun, accessible theme days and activities to promote a sense of creativity and unity within the campus community.

 SOUTH BAY WELLNESS @ CSS and RSS: Local therapists operate 8-week groups to help students develop social skills, mindfulness, and emotional regulation. These groups further deepen and build upon the RULER program.

 KINDNESS REWARDS: Each classroom has systems to acknowledge kindness amongst students, using positive reinforcement to inspire more good behaviors.


ESUSD monitors and reviews school and district policies, practices and protocols on an ongoing basis for evidence of best practices in safety and security. All schools have established clear rules for student conduct and implement strategies to promote a positive collaborative school climate.


Each of our schools have a Comprehensive School Safety Plan that intentionally states actions personnel follow to appropriately ensure the safety of students and faculty. In life, emergency situations may occur, so we conduct safety drills. Classroom safety drills keep each other safe. Thus, it is automatic whereas students and staff alike know exactly how to behave and what to do to ensure we remain safe. We practice fire drills, earthquake drills, secure campus drills, chemical/shelter in place drills and dangerous stranger drills. Dangerous stranger drills, otherwise known as lockdown, specifically address the actions taken to address an imminent threat on campus such as a violent intruder, a rabid animal, or other act of extreme violence outside the classroom. Students are explicitly briefed by faculty at a level that is developmentally appropriate on how to behave and what to do for each of the drills.


Through the passage of Measure ES in November 2018, ESUSD invested nearly $6 million in modernization efforts to maximize student safety. Those efforts include the following:


To further support our robust facility security upgrades that were prioritized bond projects, in 2018 and again in 2022, ESUSD contracted with a school security consultant in order to assess existing protocols, maintain existing best practices and recommend any best next steps to further strengthen safety. On September 14, 2022, a Parent Safety Night reviewed any further recommendations the District will consider moving forward. For those who were unable to attend Parent Safety Night, a recording may be found [here].


Administrators and faculty regularly participate in training that specifically addresses student safety. Most recently faculty participated in a comprehensive violent intruder training. Select personnel participated in tabletop exercises with the safety consultant to review protocols and procedures base upon various scenarios. Administrators and counselors participate in annual training regarding appropriately responding to and investigating bullying. ESUSD is partnering with the El Segundo Fire Department for Stop the Bleed training in order to response effectively to traumatic injury.


ESUSD follows the best practices outlined in Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 5131.2. Education Code 48900(r) defines bullying as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct. This can also include communications made in writing or by an electronic act. Recently, all District and school administrators and counselors completed annual training on appropriately responding to and investigating bullying.


In 2018, ESUSD added Safety Assistants to both El Segundo High School and El Segundo Middle School. In 2022, both elementary schools will also hire a Safety Assistant for each campus. These employees improve campus safety and security by circulating around the campus, ensuring the campus is secure, checking restrooms, and assisting with the supervision of students throughout the school day.


In 2018, ESUSD added the Raptor Technology as a means to screen visitors on campus. Visitors provide a driver’s license and the technology screens the information against the Megan’s Law database. This system provides a necessary layer of security on our campuses.


I am grateful for the tremendous partnership we have developed with the El Segundo Police Department and the entire City of El Segundo personnel.  Chief Jaime Bermudez has visited our schools on occasion and we appreciate the proactive presence ESPD displays in our schools.


The City of El Segundo employs two school resource officers to serve the schools within the City. The District is thankful to the City of El Segundo and the El Segundo Police Department Chief Jaime Bermudez for prioritizing school safety.


In the area of behavioral threat assessment, ESUSD has an established partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Appropriate personnel have been trained in the protocol which has been successfully implemented.


The theme of See Something, Say Something cannot be overemphasized enough and reported in a timely fashion. The District asks that everyone direct their concerns of any person demonstrating violent tendencies or signs of emotional distress or instability immediately to school administrators. We all share in the responsibility to keep our children safe.


Students and families should report any concerns related to bullying to their school principal or anonymously through our WeTip site.  As an extra layer of protection, our Gaggle alert system flags any potential bullying occurring online. 

 The safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. We will continue to take the steps necessary to ensure a safe, welcoming, and inclusive learning environment for every single child who attends our schools.


Take care and be well,

 Melissa Moore, Ed.D.


El Segundo Unified School District