Social Emotional Well-Being

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL)

When educators and students practice physical distancing at school or through distance learning, it does not mean they must lose social and school connections. During the COVID-19 response, it is critically important to place adult and student wellness first to establish a positive, safe, and supportive learning environment. Leading with SEL is essential because students need social and emotional support as they, like the adults around them, navigate the unprecedented challenges of alternative learning contexts, and SEL helps students access academic content through building essential self-management skills, resilience, and connections.

Recognizing that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important, the district has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instructions.

Specifically, the plan will:

  • Create a link to the District’s Comprehensive School Counseling Plan and post in a location that can be accessed by all.
  • Ensure the district’s Social Emotional Learning /Mental Health Committee will meet monthly and representatives from each building will then report to the building-level advisory committees.
  • Continue to support referrals to mental health professionals from all district stakeholders. The referrals can come from teachers, parents, administrators, students, students self-reporting and/or through mental health staff.
  • Utilize the RtI process to identify students who need support at developmentally appropriate levels. Additionally, our mental health staff will use other indicators such as attendance and lack of engagement in online learning as reported by teachers, to identify students who might be experiencing mental health issues.
  • Utilize the SEL assessment option on the daily health screener for students to identify individual areas of support.The results will help the mental health staff determine what type of tiered intervention(s) students need so they can be successful during the year.
  • Continue to utilize restorative practices and the process of using circles in the classroom to build relationships via in-person or during remote instruction.
  • Offer a multitiered support system consisting of the following levels:

Tier 1 Supports (Daily):

  • Conduct universal screening to identify social–emotional needs of students
  • Share student mental health needs assessment data with stakeholders
  • Conduct routine check-ins using a trauma and resilience informed lens
  • Develop a system to connect with students and families to promote attendance
  • Engage with students and families using culturally responsive techniques
  • Train staff to provide supports through a trauma-informed and responsive lens
  • Assess immediate needs and provide support
  • Use professional development time to increase trauma knowledge and skills
  • Include mental health and wellness resources on district and school websites and in communications with families (newsletters, emails, texts, robocalls, etc.)
  • Conduct schoolwide mental health assessment that includes trauma and stress
  • Consider strategies to become a trauma-responsive school system to support the school community
  • Utilize virtual Trauma, Illness and Grief Consortium training opportunities and guidance from TIG for support

 

Tier 2/3 Supports (Early and Targeted Intervention):

  • The school psychologists and school counselors at all levels will, after assessing student needs, conduct small groups/individual counseling for students. The groups could target specific areas such as anxiety, depression, etc. (either face-to-face, hybrid or remote)
  • Social workers will do home visits at a socially appropriate distance for students as needed
  • Team meetings
  • Connect students and families with additional outside supports in the community
  • Consider having flexible hours for mental health staff to deliver services
  • Mental health staff will join team meetings with teachers and students as needed
  • Behavior modification support
  • Attendance Intervention
  • Modified check in and check out

 

Adult SEL and Well-Being

In order to address the needs of our faculty and staff, we will create and conduct a needs assessment prior to the school year starting. Depending on the needs we will use a combination of strategies, including Social Emotional Learning (resources from CASEL), Restorative Practices to conduct community building circles to provide support and additional resources such as EAP to address certain needs as they pertain to teachers coming back to support students. As the year progresses, we would conduct another needs assessment after the first month of school and continue to provide support based on assessment data results. We recognize, as a district, that adults have many different emotions around returning to school, be it face-to-face, remote, or hybrid and being aligned with their needs. Staff support is of the utmost importance as they are vital to student learning.

Professional Development considerations include, but are not limited to:

  • Restorative Practice Training
  • Referral System Processes
  • Incorporating SEL learning into daily routines
  • Culturally Responsive Practices
  • Community Mental Health Resources
  • Trauma-Informed Care
  • How to talk with students about trauma and anxiety
  • Daily Mental Health Screening Tool
  • Zones of Regulation
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