Well-Being & Support
The entire education community has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The community has experienced high levels of stress from the disruption of daily lives and worries about the physical health of oneself and others, and many have been under financial strains. For many, especially children, living with these strains in the household and community, the stress and trauma threaten to have long-lasting negative impacts on the body and brain. Each person will need additional supports and systems that will help to rebalance and refocus on the task of learning and being productive in a school community.
When considering the reopening of schools, Ulster BOCES will contemplate not only the physical health of their constituents but also their mental health and wellness and make it a priority within their planning. We will examine the availability and accessibility of mental health resources and supports for our students, families, and staff members as they return to school, continue distance learning, or participate in a blended model. We will ensure that strong partnerships with mental health supports are created and a system is in place to allow for student and staff support referrals without wait time. This checklist is intended to be a starting point for the planning needed before the reopening of schools.
Our initial checklist of support protocols involve:
- Screening & Prevention
- Community & Family Support
- Staff Wellness
- Classroom Strategies
- Early & Targeted Intervention
- Ongoing Support Resources
How Might We (HMW) questions use a variety of creative approaches to develop generative, energizing questions used to drive a brainstorming process as our development continues. These Well-being & Support HMW questions are the result of emerging themes from our Phase 1 feedback.
- HMW create opportunities for teachers, staff and students to connect in small groups to build relationships?
- HMW ease the emotional transition back to school?
- HMW address inequities amongst the staff in terms of access to the tools they need to do their job?