Social Emotional Support
Providing Social-Emotional Support for our Students
As we prepare to welcome students back to school, we recognize that students will be in need of additional social-emotional support in order to successfully resume in the fall. Students experienced a significant disruption in their lives during the spring (and, for many, into the summer), may have experienced loss as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, and may be experiencing some feelings of stress and anxiety about returning to school. District 95 is committed to providing ALL students with the social-emotional support they need in order to engage in learning.
Student Needs Assessment
All students will complete a brief needs assessment upon return to school in the fall. The needs assessment will help building teams determine which students are in need of additional social-emotional support as we return to school.
Resilience Lessons & Practice Opportunities
All students will additionally receive direct instruction in building resilience as it relates to overcoming the spring school closure, any impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic experienced, and adjusting to the start of the school year. This instruction will take place across all grade levels district-wide, and will occur for students in both instructional models (remote or hybrid learning). Following initial resilience lessons, students will have additional opportunities to practice self-regulation skills integrated into the school day.
All staff will receive training on conducting informal needs assessments, as well as in recognizing signs of trauma, in order to facilitate obtaining additional support for students as needed.
Social-Emotional Support Request Form
All students, staff members, AND families will have access to a request form for those students who may need additional social-emotional support. It should be noted that this form is NOT intended for emergency situations; students should reach out immediately to an adult during school hours, and families should utilize emergency services for support after school hours in the event of an emergency.
Links for request forms can be found below:
Supporting Student Social-Emotional Needs at Home
Preparing Students to Return to School
There are a lot of things that will look different to students this school year. Starting conversations at home about changes to come may help facilitate the transition back to school. Sharing with students that many new practices are being put in place to keep students and staff members safe may also alleviate some anxiety about returning to school. Sample talking topics for different age groups are listed below (please note that these lists are not exhaustive, but are intended to provide starting points for families at home).
Wearing a mask during school (this might include having your student practice wearing a mask if they have not yet been wearing one)
Getting used to seeing others in masks (this might include you or other family members wearing masks around your student if they have not seen many people wearing masks)
Sitting and staying in assigned seats (on the bus, in the classroom)
Importance of maintaining 6 feet of social distance
Finding other ways to let friends and teachers know you care about them (smiling, giving a “thumbs up,” giving “air-fives”)
Importance of letting a parent or family member know if they aren’t feeling well
Secondary Students (in addition to those points listed above):
Importance of adhering to health and safety guidelines (wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, avoiding larger crowds or gatherings) outside of school
Responsible decision making when selecting socialization activities (this might include talking about how to respond to peers who are inviting your student to larger gatherings or to participate in activities where others may not be adhering to health and safety guidelines)
Levels of risk when health and safety measures are in place (sample study and graphic linked HERE)
Importance of steering clear of friends and letting an adult know if they aren’t feeling well
Additional Parent Resources
Linked HERE are additional parent resources on supporting anxiety, depression and trauma responses at home.
Linked HERE are additional community-based resources for supporting student well-being and mental health.