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Wellness Resources

FOCUS presented "What Made Maddy Run?

FOCUS presented "What Made Maddy Run? Pressures, Perfectionism & Depression in Today's Youth."

If you scrolled through the Instagram feed of 19-year-old Madison Holleran, you would see a perfect life: a freshman at an Ivy League school, recruited for the track team, who was also beautiful, popular, and fiercely intelligent. What Made Maddy Run tells the story of Maddy's life and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.

Maddy's sister, Carli, talked about Madison's success and then her struggles.   Dr. Renee Cassidy, a Public Health Physician at Chester County Health Department and part of the Chester County Suicide Prevention Task Force presented warning signs and steps to take if you are worried about someone.

For more information please watch the video below.

FOCUS - PAYS(Pennsylvania Youth Survey) Presentation

FOCUS Hosts - PAYS(Pennsylvania Youth Survey) Presentation

Since 1989, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has conducted a biennial survey of youth in the 6th, 8th,10th, and 12th grades to gather information about their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use to help communities address root causes of antisocial behavior.

PAYS(Pennsylvania Youth Survey) Presentation is a primary tool in Pennsylvania’s prevention approach of using data to drive decision making. By looking not just at rates of problem behaviors but also at the root causes of those behaviors, PAYS allows schools and communities to address reasons (such as a lack of commitment to school) rather than only looking at the symptoms after the fact (like poor grades). This approach has been repeat-edly shown in national research studies to be the most effective in helping youth develop into healthy, productive members of their society.

Speaker: Jacquelyn Taylor, Executive Director from The COAD Group (Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services)
For more information visit PAYS

Internet Safety & Cyber Bullying

The Internet can be wonderful for kids. They can use it to research school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids, and play interactive games. But online access also comes with risks, like inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and online predators. Parents should be aware of what their kids see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves. Talk with your kids, use tools to protect them, and keep an eye on their activities.

Internet Safety Presentation - The Crimes Victims' Center of Chester County

Safe2Say Something Program

Submit an Anonymous Tip Online

Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late. With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies.

For more information please visit -
Safe2Say Something informational brochure


UCF Wellness Conference

As part of our ongoing commitment to wellness, the District hosted its first annual UCF Wellness Conference on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at Unionville High School.  The conference provided staff with an afternoon of exciting wellness activities all of which aligned with the district's seven wellness standards.






Click anywhere on the picture above to view our Wellness slideshow

Click here to view additional information and the Wellness Conference presentations

UCF Wellness Conference Overview Presentation

Franklin Institute Master Educator Series

UCFSD Administrators and Faculty participate in the Franklin Institute Master Educator Series, Understanding the Brain, and Demystifying Maker Spaces Professional Development.

Master Educator Program
An in-depth, year-long collaborative cohort program dedicated to empowering educators with research-based knowledge, practices, and a professional network they need to be leaders in their districts and maximize students’ learning.

Understanding the Brain
A dynamic learning series dedicated to empowering educators with critical knowledge in neuroscience to make informed, research-based decisions that advance student learning.

Demystifying Maker Spaces
As a national leader in informal STEM learning, The Franklin Institute our staff in transforming their classroom, library, or community center into a meaningful informal STEM space.

For additional information visit -


Dear Parents and Staff,

Recent events both nationally and locally have me reflecting on our students’ experience and wellbeing. It goes without saying that our kids are growing up in a very different world than we did. The advent of widespread internet access and social media have changed the way we communicate, research, and think. While kids experience the same kind of things that we did - the method of delivery is different. Stress and anxiety are compounded by social and academic pressures, managing extracurricular activities, lack of sleep, completing community service hours, and the whole college admission process. The goal of getting into a particular college, program, or workforce can push our kids into overdrive to build an application.  Have we let things go so far that our kids are not enjoying being teenagers?

How do we navigate the very real culture of high expectations? We must make sure that our high expectations are attainable and realistic. We must encourage our kids to set goals that will stretch them while being accomplishable. We must also let our kids know the value of “down time” - reading for pleasure, playing outside, spending time with family and friends - these types of activities give kids the breathing room they need.

We need to help our students build grit and resilience so that they may be successful in life after UCFSD.  Failure and struggle are a very real part of life - we need to foster the coping skills needed for our students to navigate the tough times we all face from time to time.

Despite all of our efforts and encouragement stress and anxiety are still there. We know - from both staff observations and the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) data - that for some students anxiety has led to depression and that is something we are very concerned about.  

We have made a concerted effort to address student wellness within our district including taking steps to improve supports for our students faced with stress and anxiety.

  • We have added additional social worker services at the middle school and high school;

  • The Wellness Council is working on student-based initiatives;

  • Partnering with the Family Outreach Committee of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (FOCUS) to provide the community with meaningful presentations on wellness;

  • Mr. Conley and Mr. Dissinger are addressing the PAYS and climate survey data in their annual school action plans;

  • Safe2Say, an anonymous 24/7 tip line to report individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others, was launched this year;

  • UCF now has adopted a mandatory counseling component for all students found to be using drugs;

  • Suicide prevention programs, policies, and training for students and staff have been provided across UCF;

  • Ongoing staff training and professional development featuring recognized experts in the social-emotional growth of students;

  • Lunch and Learn at the high school will be an opportunity for kids to eat lunch in a more relaxed atmosphere.

    At UCF everything we do every day is centered on our students. Their wellness is a key component to their success - and ours. We all thrive when we are all working on making each other better. Let’s combine our efforts so every child knows that UCF has a net to catch them. We appreciate your support and look forward to continue working together.

    Warm regards,
    John Sanville  

iGen - Wellness Community Book Read


The UCFSD Wellness Committee is working to create awareness and conversation around the topic of the "iGen" generation. iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person—perhaps why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

iGen is a highly readable and entertaining first look at how today’s members of iGen—the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later—are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation.

Learn more - iGen
CNN Interview with Dr. Twenge
NPR - France Bans Phones in Schools
Children need a digital diet, not iPhones