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The Wellness program at La Jolla Country Day School is committed to improving the overall healthy emotional development and well-being of students, educators and staff. Through education, programming and partnership with trained professionals, the program promotes and normalizes conversations about mental health and wellness.


  • Integrating the partnership between the student, faculty and family
  • Fostering community and prioritizing mental health for faculty/staff so that they are best equipped to support students and families
  • Creating a Pre-K–12 health program that promotes resiliency and healthy coping skills to allow children of all ages to learn to take care of their mind, body and spirit.
LJCDS recognizes the importance of mental health and wellness and firmly believes in having a school-community-family partnership.

Programs Highlights

List of 7 items.

  • All School

    • Brief, solution-focused counseling sessions are available to all students 
    • Wellness Insights for Families, a monthly informational meeting hosted by the school counselors, addresses topics and areas of interest for parents and families.
    • Partnership and consultation with external resources confirm best practices and offer relevant information regarding the Pre-K–12 population. 
    • Professional development and classroom integration of wellness practices are encouraged in each division. 
    • The school nurse is trained to assess the severity of various injuries and if physical symptoms are psychosomatic. 
  • Early Childhood Center (ECC)

    LJCDS educators work closely with the school counselor to determine how to support students who struggle with social-emotional challenges. The school counselor is also a resource to ECC families.
  • Lower School

    • Educators work closely with the school counselor to determine how to support students who have social-emotional challenges. 
    • The school counselor periodically leads discussions on character development, friendship and social issues, self-esteem, conflict resolution, and other topics that might be of interest to students.
  • Middle School

    • Students connect and bond with the members of their homerooms and the middle school community during advisory and community dialogue time. 
    • Students participate in programming that addresses age-appropriate, social-emotional topics, which include:
      • Grades 5–6: Study skills and time management, healthy friendships, bullying behaviors, feelings management, puberty, conflict resolution, goal-setting, assertiveness, building self-confidence, social media and healthy habits. 
      • Grades 7–8: Coping strategies for stressful situations, dealing with peer pressure, healthy relationships, body image, alcohol/drugs, suicide awareness and prevention, LGBTQ+ issues, expressing feelings and thoughts in healthy ways, and social media. 
  • Upper School

    • Health and Wellness course in Grade 9 focuses on mental health, suicide prevention, nutrition/body image, sexual health, substance use education and identity.
    • The advisory program includes counselor-directed programming that addresses various topics about mental wellness and positive psychology through small group discussions, guest speakers and assemblies.
    • In partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), faculty and students undergo suicide prevention programming. 
    • Students participate in the Sandy Hook Promise programming, including Say Something and Signs of Suicide. 
    • Student clubs include MHE (Mental Health Education) 
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    When students are well, their achievement increases. Individuals cannot be fully well if they don’t feel seen, heard and accepted for who they are; therefore, diversity, equity, inclusion is an essential component of the Wellness program. In addition to the Upper School dignity course, the Middle School’s advisory program addresses DEI work through the dignity lens. The Wellness team collaborates with the director of diversity, equity, and culture on educating and supporting students, families and staff.
  • Parent/Guardian Education

    Parents and guardians are invited to monthly educational talks featuring parenting and mental health experts from around the nation. Topics have included positive discipline, healthy relationships in the teen years, transitioning to college, cyber safety, healthy sleep, wellness during a pandemic, and how to build resilience and thrive.

    LJCDS is a member of WeCare San Diego, a nonprofit consortium of independent schools that provides education events that offer practical, real-world solutions to parents/guardians’ problems.

Wellness News

Rady Children's Partnership

LJCDS is in proud partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital to create and sustain a Pre-K–12 wellness framework that promotes the emotional well-being of the entire school community. A staff psychiatrist at Rady Children’s works directly with the LJCDS wellness staff. The goal is to scale the model and curriculum to share with other schools in the greater San Diego community and across the country.

    • Nicholas Chan, Jan Capon, Ashley Marlow, Michelle Hirschy, Kiara Grant

The primary objective is to develop a caring and supportive relationship with students as they navigate through the ups and downs of adolescence and work towards achieving their goals.

Meet the Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Michelle Hirschy

    Michelle Hirschy 

    Director of Wellness
    (858) 453-3440 x 166
  • Photo of Ashley Marlow

    Ashley Marlow 

    Counselor, Early Childhood–Grade 5
    (858) 453-3440 x317
  • Photo of Kiara Grant

    Kiara Grant Ed.D. 

    Counselor, Grades 6-9
    (858) 453-3440 x 476
  • Photo of Jan Capon

    Jan Capon , RN, BSN 

    School Nurse and Wellness Coordinator
    (858) 453-3440 x137

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

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