Outreach and Social/Emotional Support for Students and Families
It can be confusing and unsettling when there is a disruption to a routine. This crisis has challenged the social, emotional, and academic needs of everyone. We need to find new and innovative ways to navigate our roles.
While students are learning at home, family members are now in teaching roles. They need support to feel successful.
Some ideas to consider as you develop and execute your plans for the future:
Communication is Critical
- Use different outlets such as text, email, phone calls, and video conferencing.
- Allow the student and family to choose the type of communication that works best for them.
- Be proactive and reach out early.
- Let students know that you are there for them.
- Inform families and that you can help connect them to resources as needs arise.
- Make mental health check-ins a priority.
- Make one-on-one connections/Facetime sessions to talk about any and everything!
- Share online resources related to self-care and physical and mental health.
- Conduct regular group chats.
- Students can hear and respond to each other.
- Encourage them to host group-wide activities.
- Recognize and validate the difficult experiences our students are having.
Outreach to Homeless Students
Children and youth experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable. Schoolhouse Connection offers resources to help.
Family Support for Academic Learning
Providing support for families is vital. They are, after all, your surrogates for the learning that will be happening at home. This will be a memorable experience so it’s important to make it a good one.
- Consider connecting several families so they can learn together and support each other.
- Develop a plan for regular communication.
- Maintain your normal school routine
- Get up at the same time
- Work through subjects in the same order
- Be disciplined
- Work in a distraction-free zone (some music may be helpful, though)
- Keep in contact with instructors
- Don’t act as if you have a free vacation from school
- Remember to take breaks
- Your brain and body both need you to get up and move around
Addressing Mental Health Needs
People who have survived major natural disasters compare coronavirus to a hurricane, tornado, or fire. The mental health stressors are very similar. And the effects can last months or even years.
Students who feel safe are more able to focus on school. Connecting students, families, and professionals can help address these mental health needs.
- CDC Guidance for schools and childcare
- CDC Guidance for managing stress and anxiety
- Helping Children Cope with Changes as a Result of COVID-19
- 4 Resources to Support Students During the Pandemic
- Teaching Online During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Wishing you strength for the journey.