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Huntington Beach Union High School District

Fountain Valley High School Officially Opens School Wellspace for Students and Staff

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Fountain Valley High School (FVHS) opened its brand new wellspace on campus this Thursday, November 16, 2023.

Discussions for installing a wellspace began in early 2019 with FVHS Student Support School Psychologist (SSSP), Cynthia Olaya, and School Nurse, Marci McLean-Crawford, as Be Well OC and the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) were launching efforts to improve wellness across the county. Olaya and McLean-Crawford joined the Be Well coalition and began planning for the space as part of their work. While the pandemic slowed the progress, plans were renewed in 2022 for the building of FVHS's wellspace, which finally came to fruition as the space opened its doors this week.

The newly refurbished space, named Le Sanctuaire, was made possible thanks to the donation from the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation and the amazing support, guidance, and partnership from OCDE and CHOC Foundation. 

Le Sanctuaire will play a vital role on the FVHS campus for students who need access to support, resources, or just a place to unwind, allowing them to prioritize their mental health and overall well-being in a welcoming environment. To help encourage different types of calming techniques, the space includes activities such as journaling, mindful coloring, yoga, fidgets, water painting, kinetic sand, access to apps and mindfulness videos, and a gratitude wall. Student ambassadors will also play a part in Le Sanctuaire, as they will greet students as they enter the space, orient students to activities, and help connect them to additional adult support as needed.

“The goal of creating a wellspace at FVHS is to ensure that everyone on campus, including students, staff, and teachers, has a space that they can use to destress, independently manage their emotions, access a school-based mental health provider if needed, and then be able to return to their normal school day,” stated FVHS SSSP, Cynthia Olaya. “We want to thank HBUHSD for their enduring belief that schools are more than places to learn curricular content, but also places of safety, comfort, and stability for so many. Our students are excited to begin using this space, and we’re excited to see our wellness program grow under our Wellness Specialist, Kayla Perkoski.”

FVHS Principal Paul Lopez shared, “Having a wellspace on campus is a game changer! We all know that students and staff sometimes have challenges where they just need to take a break and relax. Our space will serve the purpose of helping people relax and recharge. We are thankful to Cynthia Olaya, Marci McLean-Crawford, and Kayla Perkoski for leading our school in the creation of ‘Le Sanctuaire’.”

The Huntington Beach Union High School District is so excited to have a wellspace on FVHS’s campus that will open up more opportunities for students and staff alike to recharge and unwind from the daily stresses they experience in a space that is welcoming and inviting to all.

More photos from the event can be found at HBUHSD’s Pixieset.