Student Health & Success
Student Health & Success
Students cannot learn and thrive if they face obstacles to their health and well-being. IPSD204 works to remove such obstacles, with ongoing support from IPEF.
The most visible program is the biennial cardiac screening of high school students. But there is an array of programs focused on overcoming emotional, developmental and economic obstacles that affect our district’s most vulnerable ‘at-risk’ students. Explore these important programs and find the ones that can benefit your child or that you would like to help support. ➤
Young Hearts for Life
“One simple test that took five minutes saved my life.”
– Chris Storm, WVHS Graduate
Every week, sudden cardiac death clams the lives of 60 young adults in the US. Sadly, three such deaths had occurred in IPSD204 high schools. Starting in 2009, IPSD204 brought the Young Hearts for Life® (YH4L) program to all district high schools. Every other year, YH4L offers free cardiac screening to all high school students, so that students can be screened twice during their four years of high school.
Over 34,000 heart screens have been provided to IPSD204 students. The result: 380 students have been advised by board-certified cardiologists to seek further review with their personal care physician and, each year, at least one principal has received a letter stating how this program was responsible for saving a student’s life.
Providing electrocardiograms (ECGs) to 6000 students is a significant undertaking, requiring equipment, a staff of cardiac and healthcare specialists and over 200 community volunteers. Due to associated costs, we seek both funding partners and site volunteers for upcoming screening years:
YH4L Program in IPSD204 – 2016
Chris Storm: YH4L Saved My Life
YH4L at Metea Valley – 2016
Edward-Elmhurst Health has been an invaluable partner, funding a substantial portion of YH4L screening programs in all of the district’s high schools since 2011.
YH4L Screening Dates
YHFL cardiac screenings for the 2020-21 school year have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We anticipate safely performing the screenings in all three high schools during the 2021-22 school year. Please check back here for for those dates.
Volunteers are always needed, and appreciated:
Become A Sponsor
Young Hearts For Life is probably the most important program IPEF supports, but it’s also the program that’s most difficult to recruit financial sponsors for. We are actively seeking corporate and non-profit partners to help us ensure this life-saving program continues:
Back on Track Counseling
“I’ve learned more self-control. I can handle myself better and I’m making better decisions.”
– High School Back on Track Student
Focused social/emotional and mental health support is crucial for a growing number of IPSD204 students. Why? In the last 10 years, the number of economically disadvantaged students in the district has tripled. These students experience significant stress and often struggle both academically and socially.
IPSD204 and Naperville-based 360 Youth Services together developed the Back on Track program to help this at-risk population. Used at the high school and middle school levels, it has proven highly successful in helping students identify and counteract self-defeating attitudes and behaviors. It gives them a ‘tool kit’ for dealing successfully with their situations, their peers and the purpose of school.
Back on Track provides individualized assessment and counseling to students, at school, so as to avoid obstacles of availability, cost, transportation. Students are referred into Back on Track by deans and social workers, but the shear numbers cannot be served by the school staff, therefore, the counseling is provided by 360 Youth Services case managers.
This approach has proven very effective in reducing absences/truancy and out-of-school suspensions. It is literally turning young lives around. IPEF is committed to supporting Back on Track, but we need funding partners to meet that commitment.
“This means so much to me! It’s created such a positive idea about prom now!”
– IPSD204 High School Senior
IPSD204’s Valley Runway program began in 2016 as an IPEF Teacher Grant to promote the confidence and self-esteem of financially challenged high school women by making it possible for them to attend their school’s formal social events.. Yes, high school prom is an important rite of passage, but it is also a surprisingly expensive affair.
The Valley Runway team collects and stores gently used formal dresses and purchases hard-to-fit sizes at a discount. It also purchases shoes, purses and accessories to complete the girl’s ensemble, and now arranges for men’s tuxedo rentals at a discount. The team schedules fittings prior to the formal dances and, volunteers go the extra mile to make sure each student looks fabulous for their big night.
We might take Homecoming and Prom for granted, but they are financially out-of-reach for too many students. Thanks to the generosity of Valley Runway sponsors, over 100 lower income students a year can now be included, and confident, alongside their classmates at these memorable functions.
The SMILE project
“SMILE Project is a great opportunity for students like me because it forces you out of your comfort zone.”
– Metea Valley High School Student
The SMILE Project is a new IPSD204 program for the 2020-21 school year that IPEF is pleased to support. SMILE stands for Students, Mentors, Internships with Local Employers . The program gives high school sophomores and juniors from underserved families summer internships with local businesses and non-profits. The internships give these students opportunities to realize their potential, develop a work ethic, and make positive choices for their futures.
SMILE Project was pioneered by DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church, which recruits the participating businesses and helps administer the program. SMILE is a model collaboration between familes, school and community in which everyone benefits. IPEF Board Member Kim White mentored a student as a SMILE sponsor and observed,”You have a young mind who’s ready to take in everything. They’re learning so much: how to treat people; hands-on, real-world experience; how to be a team player; the importance of showing up on time.“
IPEF is seeking area businesses and non-profits interested in sponsoring student interns, at no cost to the sponsor, as well as funding for each students’ $600 internship stipend.