Student Services

  • For questions and more information about the following items, visit the Student Services section of the District website:, email  or call 650-558-2251:

    • Address changes and / or contact info changes
    • Wellness counseling
    • Attendance issues
    • Transferring students
    • Data Confirmation - Summer Census
    • Preferred Name Changes 
    • Alternatives to Suspension programs

    San Mateo Union High School District has a bold, common district goal to reduce suspensions and expulsions throughout the district and to decrease disproportionally as it relates to discipline procedures. District Goal # 2, as outlined by Superintendent Kevin Skelly,  “to examine, analyze and improve our student support systems to meet the changing social-emotional health needs of our students with a reduction target of 20% decline in suspensions and expulsions as well as the expansion of restorative justice practices.” 

    Restorative Justice Practices

    The fundamental premise of Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) is that “human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when people in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.” There are two RJP tiers – “The Circle” which is the first step intervention piece and “The Conference” which is a non-punitive philosophical approach to discipline which repairs harm done, teaches accountability for offenses and how to move forward without shame.

    The Circle

    The restorative circle structure establishes equality, safety, trust, responsibility, facilitation, ownership and community connections, as well as building a strong and supportive relationship among students and teachers in the classroom, improving academic performance. problem solving, reducing bullying and conflict. It gives students a chance to tell their stories and to participate in the classroom setting in a way that is very different from the traditional classroom structure. 

    The Restorative Conference

    The first step of conferencing is the pre-conference. The pre-conference is conducted by an RJP facilitator.  The offender/offenders, victim/victims are interviewed separately in the pre-conference to establish criteria for a successful conference.  The offender/offenders must admit to wrongdoing before the conference can be held. If all parties are in agreement the RJP conference is conducted.  The goal of this conference is to repair the harm that has been done and to move forward without shame.  There is an intended script that is strictly followed by the facilitator. At the end of the conference all parties come to an agreement and a contract is signed by all participants.  Follow-up check-ins as needed. This intervention is used within the discipline process.

    Alternative to Suspension

    The purpose of the Alternative to Suspension Program is to provide an opportunity for students to contemplate, connect, to repair harm and to make positive decisions, reducing the time out of the classroom and focusing on increasing student academic success. Through this proactive intervention, students will be given tools to reduce negative behaviors by utilizing the Restorative Justice Practices Philosophy. 

    Suspended students engage in structured, therapeutic time during suspension to address underlying causes of suspension and increase engagement in school upon reentry. Students who receive 1-3 day suspensions are eligible for this On-Campus Suspension Program by referral by a school dean or site administrator. At the discretion of the dean or site administrator, students may serve the first day of suspension at home and then opt to attend the On-Campus Suspension program for one day in lieu of serving the remainder of the suspension. A licensed MFT facilitates the program in collaboration with a SMUHSD PPS credentialed certificated staff member. The program operates during regular school hours (8am-3pm) on the campus of the Adult School, 789 Poplar Street, San Mateo. 

    Brief Intervention Counseling 

    Brief Intervention is a counseling intervention for students identified with:

    • Low level substance abuse.
    • Short history of drug use
    • Are unsure or ambivalent about changing their drug use
    • Are experiencing few problems with their drug use 

    How does it work? 

    BI consists of: 

    • 15 minute assessment interview with counselor/referrer
    • Student pre survey  (AADIS) 
    • 2 worksheet based 45-minute sessions with student and trained counselor. 
    • Optional parent session
    • Contact with assistant principal when program is completed
    • Documentation in Aeries

    What is the purpose of BI? 

    The purpose of BI is:

    • To provide a forum for the student to discuss their drug use, how it impacts their health, academics and relationships 
    • To support the student in setting healthy goals, making healthy decisions and reducing and/or stopping their drug use.

    Why Brief Intervention? 

    BI follows a Harm Reduction approach:

    • Supporting the student’s effort to reduce use 
    • Individual sessions with counselor providing consistency, trust and change
    • Empowers students to be accountable for their own positive change 

    How do Students Enter BIS (Behavior Intervention Sessions)?

    • Mandated by disciplinary decision – in lieu of or in addition to suspension
    • ATS - Alternative to Suspension
    • Self/Staff/Soft Referral (on their own accord)