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An Update from Dr. Nelson Gretchen

Special Education Services

April 24, 2020


Dear Parents and Caregivers,


You are our heroes. During this time of pandemic response we have been asked to sacrifice to keep ourselves and others safe. We see your sacrifice and we see your commitment to your children. We are grateful for your partnership and your efforts. Our staff is motivated by you and your children.


As we move into the next few weeks, we will continue to provide you with Individual Learning Plans that are designed to extend your child’s learning while encouraging connection, motivation, and some joy in learning. We know that, some days, our efforts work and things go smoothly while other days are rough. We also acknowledge nothing can completely replicate the school environment. Please reach out and let us know how things are going. We want to work with you to maximize the benefits of this time.


We also know how difficult this time can be for parents, caregivers, and families, so we’ve added resources to this page that address stress and ways to get help and support. Please reach out if you need additional assistance.


Finally, I want you to know that we are planning for ESY and transitions. While we await guidance regarding Extended School Year (ESY) services, we are developing plans for both a Distance Learning Platform as well as an in person program to support students who qualify for ESY. We will be in contact with you as soon as we know how those services can be implemented. Additionally, we are working on a system to begin having PPTs for those students who are transitioning from one program to another.


Take care of yourselves. We think of you and all you are doing. We will get through this together!


Sincerely,

Gretchen

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Emotional and Crisis Support Resources

2-1-1:

A one-stop connection to Connecticut's local services, including utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention, and much more. 2-1-1 is always ready to assist you to find the help you need. Dial 2-1-1 or click on this link.


Text HOME to 741741

Connect with a Crisis Counselor for free 24/7, confidential support over text.


“Talk It Out” Hotline

The Department of Children and Families launched this hotline to help parents and caregivers to manage the increased stress associated with caring for their children during the COVID-19 crisis. The hotline provides support from a network of trained professionals, including staff from Wheeler Clinic, who will listen and speak with people about their concerns and make referrals to other services as needed. Call 1-833-258-5011 or click on this link.


The Village

The Village has a non-emergency information line for mental health and resources: Call the following number to access this support: 860-882-6405.


School-based Mental Health Support
School Social Workers, School Psychologists, and School Counselors are available to support students and families through virtual consultation and counseling. Counseling staff contact information is located on each school's webpage.


Wheeler Clinic
To learn more about available care options, call Wheeler Clinic's Navigation Center at 888.793.3500. Wheeler's Navigation Center is open Monday through Thursday, 8 AM to 6 PM, and Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.


The Bridge Family Center
During the Coronavirus pandemic, The Bridge Counseling Centers in West Hartford, Avon, and Rockville remain open and their therapists are meeting with clients in one of three ways. One-on-one sessions in the clinics are available, though most clients have opted to “meet” either by phone or through Telehealth, which allows therapists to teleconference securely with clients using a variety of technologies including smart phones, iPads, or computers.
Call (860) 521-8035 or click on this link.


The Village

The Village is now able to connect with you anytime, anywhere, and with any device using their telehealth service. To learn more about this safe and convenient option, call 860-236-4511.


Clinicians in West Hartford
A list of clinicians in West Hartford who provide telehealth services.


The Anxiety Treatment Center
Andrea Nave from the Anxiety Treatment Center is facilitating a virtual support group for parents who are stressed/anxious about COVID-related issues. There is no limit on referrals, as Andrea will start a second group if needed. Call (860) 269-7813 x. 108 or email Andrea at andreanave@ctanxiety.com

Downtime Resources

Many ways to explore, investigate and create!

Virtual Travel

Want to travel while at home: Try these websites to “visit” places all over the world. Virtual museum tours will provide windows into the past, present, and future.


Toporopa

National Geographic

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Visit a National Park


Curious Minds

Do you and your child have questions about how things work, animals, and the weather?

A visit to some of these websites will support you on your journey to finding answers.


Active Science

Active Science has 15 different scientific modules, each with interactive games and activities. Great for use with IWB.Elementary-college


How Stuff Works

Grades K-12 When your child wants to know why the sky is blue, how a tornado forms, or any number of other questions, head on over to How Stuff Works. The articles break down subjects like autos, culture, entertainment, science, money, technology and more. Games, quizzes, and videos also round out your child's learning experience.


Animal Diversity Web

From the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, the Animal Diversity Web is an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology. Students can browse information on individual creatures from the Kingdom Animalia and find thousands of pictures on specific animals. What's great about the Animal Diversity Web is that students can sign up to become contributors to the website. To do this, teachers must submit a request form.


Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids

It's learning with a twist. The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids features riddles, puzzles, a question of the day, a timeline of interesting historical facts, sky events and weather conditions to track at home with your children.


Music and the Arts for Everyone

Bring music and arts into your home by visiting amazing sites hosted by the Lincoln Center.


Activities Away from the Computer

Ready for some time away from the screen, but not sure how to create an adventure at home? This resource includes 125 ideas that will engage your child.

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Parent, Caregiver, and Family Support Resources

If you or your child need behavioral or emotional support during the school closure please call 211 or 911 for assistance.


The Bridge Family Center is also available during this time for online support and resources. Please contact them through this link or call 860-212-8035.


If you become aware of a concerning incident, you can contact the Anonymous Tip Line.

Online Safety

Common Sense Media provides suggestions for promoting on-line safety as well as appropriate on-line resources. Two particularly helpful articles from this site are included:

How to Turn Kids' Phones Off at Night (or Anytime, Really)


How to Set Screen Rules That Stick

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Tips to Keep Kids Structured

  • Keep activities with start and end times

  • Have structured breaks

  • Allow for downtime

  • Keep routine

  • Allow for exercise and movement

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Free and Inexpensive Learning Websites

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