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  • Writer's pictureBianca Vargas Ocasio, LSW

Implementing STRONG to Create Safer, More Supportive School Communities

Bianca Vargas Ocasio, LSW

Mental Health Consultant, Center for Childhood Resilience

The San Mateo Foster City School District Team was trained in STRONG (Supporting Transition Resilience Of Newcomer Groups) in October 2021. STRONG is an evidence-informed, school-based intervention for immigrant and refugee students across K-12th grades. STRONG aims to build resilience and address psychological distress associated with the newcomer experience. STRONG consists of 10 group sessions, one individual student session, and teacher and parent education sessions.

The team of 8 clinicians planned to run groups across 7 sites beginning in the semester of January 2022! They coordinated and invited Spanish-speaking parents and families to a virtual meeting that was facilitated jointly by the 8 STRONG facilitators in their district.

They provided information on the STRONG curriculum components, the topics covered in the sessions, as well as the relaxation exercises included in the intervention.

Additionally, they provided a list of community resources for food pantry services, a community response hotline, and provided space for parents/caregivers to ask questions.

The San Mateo Foster City School District Team has provided an example of what district networking and collaboration can look like when implementing a Tier 2 intervention to create a safer and more supportive school community!

If you are interested in learning more about STRONG and how you can receive training, contact us at


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