from Susan M. Hasenauer, Superintendent
Monday, April 26, 2021
With Mental Health Awareness Month rapidly approaching in May, it is important to raise awareness regarding those living with mental or behavioral health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience, including our students.
A study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that 71% of students reported more stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and 91% reported negative impacts of the pandemic, including fear and worry about their own health and the health of loved ones.
As we continue to weather the impacts of the pandemic and work toward recovery and an eventual full return the classroom, here are three things educators, school counselors, administrators, and parents can do.
First, it is important to know the warning signs of distress in students. They include but are not limited to:
- Feeling sad or down.
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate.
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt.
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows.
- Withdrawal from friends and activities.
- Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping.
In addition, depression and anxiety may manifest differently. If you are concerned about a child or an adult, one of the first things you can do is connect the individual with resources to help.
On April 16th, the NYS Office of Mental Health and the NYS Education Department released a memo that indicates that individuals with pre-existing social-emotional or behavioral challenges can be at greater risk. In their guidance, they indicate what can be done now, as well as provide resources for educators, school leaders, parents/families, students and at risk populations. Please see this link for information: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/psc/aboutcharterschools/documents/JointSEDandOMHletter04-16-2021.pdf
Lastly, building social connections is extremely important and one of the primary reasons it was essential to increase in-person learning and have our students back in school. Research indicates social isolation is likely to exacerbate psychological distress and even suicide risk. Therefore, we cannot underestimate the impact social connection has as a strong protective factor for young people.
Ultimately, as stated in the memo, schools, in partnership with students, their families, and community partners play an enormously important role in keeping students on the path to healing. As a district, the health and safety of our students and staff matter. Alone we can be strong but together we will be unstoppable.
Have a great week!
Board of Education Petitions
Due to a candidate's withdrawal from the Board of Education election, Education Law section 2018(d) requires the District to extend the deadline for nominating petitions for candidates to the Board of Education. The new deadline is calculated fifteen (15) days after the date of withdrawal and results in an extension until May 5, 2021 at 5:00 PM. Petitions have the same requirements: they must be submitted to the District Clerk and contain twenty-five (25) signatures of qualified voters.
You will be able to view information about our candidates on our website after the May 5th deadline at: https://www.newarkcsd.org/candidates
If you have any questions, please contact Ed Gnau at (315) 332-3203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.