Whole Child Newsletter

November 2020

Brightspot: Learn about Arianna from Northwest High School

My name is Arianna Ferguson and I’m a senior at Northwest High School.

As a young black female in today's society, I decided it was time for my voice to

be heard. We can only be taught so much in school and I think it is important to

take our own initiative, as young people, to help educate ourselves and others. I

have always had a desire to learn about my African American culture and history

and I believe this platform will allow me to do that.

My website provides educational material, as well as my personal thoughts

on issues that are important to me. This site is very user friendly and is geared

towards all ages, especially young people. I will also be offering my own

merchandise that will be available to purchase. My biggest hope for this website

is that it will not only educate, but will also impact the viewers to recognize the

problems that exist today and encourage them to be a part of the solution. We all

need to work together to make our homes, communities and Nation better. I’m

excited to share this journey with everyone and I hope when you visit, you’ll enjoy


Visit Arianna's Website HERE

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Integrating Social Emotional Learning and Wellness into Your Behavior Matrix

We know the need for making sure we lift up the importance of staff and student wellness. But how can we ensure that we show that it is important to take care of yourself without adding one more "thing" to everyone's plate?

Below are a couple of examples from the National PBIS Forum, of how some schools integrated Social Emotional Learning and Schoolwide Wellness into their pre-existing Behavior Matrix. These particular schools were experiencing a large number of students that did not have great emotional regulation skills, and their school counselor was struggling to put out all of the fires on a daily basis. They decided as a team to make this a Tier 1 initiative to ensure that all students were being taught how to regulate their emotions.

In School Behavior Matrix

Remote Learning Behavior Matrix

Dial 9-8-8 for Suicide Prevention

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was signed into law on Saturday, October 17. In the FUTURE, this legislation will make 9-8-8 the dialing code for suicide prevention, making it easier for Americans who are seeking services for mental health emergencies to access help.

The success of 9-8-8 comes at a critical time for behavioral health services, as COVID-19 has contributed to increased isolation and unemployment, among other difficulties. Implementation of 9-8-8 will now move to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which recently set a deadline of July 2022 for the full, national implementation of the 9-8-8 hotline designation.

Read the news release

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Did You Know?

Did you know that many of our students across Jackson County are struggling with their mental health?

According to our most recent Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPHY) data...

Our local schools and community partners are working hard to support students and families in getting the support they need. During the 2019-2020 school year:

  • 574 students received help from our JCISD School Social Workers/Community School Engagement Specialists in our local schools and 340 youth were referred for additional support.

  • 151 students and families participated in the JUMP Program with Family Services and Children’s Aid

  • 455 children (aged 0-17) received individual or family therapy services in 2019

  • Four local mental health agencies provided therapeutic services in 6 of our local school districts

We know that there is much more to be done! One of the first steps in supporting students and their mental health is being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health concern and knowing what steps to take to connect a student to support. The JCISD Whole Child Team is partnering with LifeWays CMH to offer a virtual Youth Mental Health First Aid training on December 9th, 2020 from 10:00am-3:00pm. If you want to learn more about youth mental health and how to take action, please consider attending. See the flyer below for more information and the link to register! Link to Flyer

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Physical Education in COVID Times

Physical Education in Covid Times

In this article in Principal Leadership, James Barry and Ingrid Johnson say that physical activity is more important than ever during the pandemic. In addition to keeping students fit and strong when they’re confined to their homes or a single classroom, well-planned physical activity helps deal with anxiety and stress and boosts the immune system. Observing three key restrictions…

- Conducting classes outdoors or in a well-ventilated space;

- Students physically distanced (for example, marking off 6 x 6-foot squares in a gym);

- Not sharing equipment, and sanitizing equipment after every class…

physical education teachers can make an important contribution. Some possibilities for in-school, hybrid, or at-home activities:

- Flipping instruction, with students watching demonstration videos on their own;

- Having students use Flipgrid to share their developing skills;

- Dances like the Cha-Cha Slide;

- Involving family members in scavenger hunts;

- Skills and games with each student using one ball;

- Personalized workout plans;

- Modifying activities for students with special needs;

- Mindfulness exercises.

Barry and Johnson recommend several organizations for ideas on safe physical education and sports activities: Move United, Chromebooks for Health and Physical Education, Adapt at Home (for students with special needs), SHAPE America, OPEN (Online Physical Education Network) PE, PE Central, and Dynamic PE ASAP.

Gratitude BINGO

2020 has been a tough year, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Research proves that expressing gratitude has positive benefits for our health. See how many times you can score "BINGO" and customize to share with your co-workers, friends, and students. Click here for GRATITUDE BINGO.

Tips for Interacting with Virtual Students

Looking for common sense tips on how to interact with virtual students? Maybe ideas for starting class, showing work in math, or using an online whiteboard? Check out this 12 minute Jamboard tutorial...it's worth the time.

Simple but Powerful Classroom Techniques...that also work for Remote Instruction!

In this McREL white paper, Australian high-school teacher leader Glen Pearsall suggests simple classroom shifts that can make a big difference to student learning – and teachers’ sense of efficacy. He believes they apply equally to in-person and remote instruction:

  • Low-effort interventions
  • Pivoting and Reframing
  • A Rallying Call
  • Wait Time
  • Pause and elaboration time
  • Snapshot feedback to the teacher
  • Reflection time

View All Techniques with Examples HERE

“To Make Big Changes for Students, Teachers Should Think a Little Smaller” by Glen Pearsall McREL International, September 2020; Pearsall’s book on this subject is Tilting Your Teaching (McREL International, 2020).

10-Minute Meditation For Anxiety

Contact the Whole Child Team

Janelle Buchler: Whole Child Consultant (janelle.buchler@jcisd.org)

Eric Swihart: Whole Child Coordinator (eric.swihart@jcisd.org)

Caitlin Williams: Attendance and Homeless Program Coordinator (caitlin.williams@jcisd.org)

Rebecca Hurst: Behavior Health Project Coordinator (rebecca.hurst@jcisd.org)

Kelsea Jabkiewicz: Data Integration and Medicaid Cost Recovery Coordinator (kelsea.jabkiewicz@jcisd.org)

Angela Maddox: Whole Child Secretary (angela.maddox@jcisd.org)