Social Emotional Well-Being
We recognize that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important. The district has made resources and referrals available to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instruction. The counseling department will provide updated resources to families via the district website, as well as through monthly newsletters and their personal counseling pages.
The Counseling department will meet to review the current K-12 counseling plan and add components to address return-to-school needs (i.e anxiety re: being safe, loss, fear of loss, separation and change: why do things/people look different re: space, masks, class size.) Our K-12 counseling department consists of school counselors, school psychologists and a school social worker. Through the Elementary School’s School Based Intervention Team, the Middle School’s Pupil Study Team and the High School’s Instructional Support Team, the counseling department will use a multi-tiered approach to identify and support students' social emotional needs as they transition back into the school setting. The district will lessen content the first few weeks of school to address social emotional well-being. The district is exploring the idea of utilizing our physical education teachers to support social emotional learning in the classroom.
The counseling department’s current advisory council will meet in August to review the updated counseling plan and obtain feedback regarding ongoing planning, specifically how it relates to supporting students' social emotional needs with the transition back to the school setting. The role of the advisory council is to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to review, advise on, and support the implementation of the program. It consists of parents, a member of the board of education, a school building and district leader, a local mental health professional, a teacher, a student, certified school counselors, and a professional for higher education.
The district will provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide support for developing coping and resiliency skills for students, faculty, and staff. The professional development will include, but is not limited, to presentations conducted by members of the counseling department, videos and scripts provided to staff to use with students who are struggling.
The district will provide increased support to students who have anxiety or difficulty transitioning back to in-person instruction. A wide array of resources will be posted on the website, shared with families through district communication tools, and provided to students in a format at their age level. Student organizations/district sponsored organizations will assist with the social emotional well being of students, one such organization, Sources of Strength located at the High School.
The district understands that adults will also be facing many of the same struggles and concerns that students may feel while transitioning to in-person instruction. The district has had and will continue to create opportunities for staff to meet (virtually) to communicate and rebuild together. Professional development opportunities are being developed to focus on a wide array of topics. Staff will have the opportunity to enter into the building prior to meeting and will work together collaboratively throughout the process understanding that these are difficult times and that with support we can succeed.