Student Support Services Newsletter

May 2021

From the Department

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Dear Spartan Community,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! This month we will raise awareness about mental health to help reduce the stigma that may be associated. Our department will highlight the importance of a healthy mind by providing resources for educators, families, and the community. We hope that you benefit from the resources shared.

With Love,

The Student Support Services Department

Guidance and Social-Emotional Learning

Alpine Elementary School

This month our character trait is Trustworthiness. Mrs. Yanoff will read a book on how you can be trustworthy and post it in her google classroom. Homeroom teachers will also review it with their class. Alpine will wear blue on May 28th for Trustworthiness. During our SEL period, we are focusing on the theme, Compassion.

Mohawk Avenue School

This month we are going to focus on Trustworthiness. Wear blue on Friday, May 28th, for our assembly.

Virtual recess will continue until the end of the year. Students that are ALL VIRTUAL can access once a week through the Virtual Recess Google Classroom. The schedule is listed there. Please reach out to Mrs. Szatkiewicz with questions.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to stay connected with our community. No one should feel alone or without access to information, support, and help they need. Please visit NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) for resources.

The students are continuing to learn about Compassion in Action. There are many ways to show compassion for others; the important thing is that it comes from your heart! Check out some mindfulness activities you can do as a family to help you stay present together!

We will be celebrating all we have learned this year from the Choose Love Movement by working on an art project with Mrs. Keenan and a music video with Mrs. Bleakly! We can not wait to share the finished products with the community in June!!

Helen Morgan School

This month we are focusing on the Character Trait - Trustworthiness. Our theme for Choose Love is Compassion. In small groups, we are focusing on Problem Solving from our Second Step Program.

Culture and Climate: Sparta C3

Wear Green Day

On Friday, May 21st, we will be hosting, Wear Green Day! We would love for all teachers, staff, and students to wear green for Mental Health Awareness Month. Look out for green ribbons around your school!

In addition, please check out the activity workbook for kids created by The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health in observation of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.

Mental Health Matters

Mental Health

One in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Everyone faces challenges that can impact their mental health, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

Mental health is essential to one’s overall health and well-being, and bringing awareness to mental health helps reduce the stigma associated. Reducing the stigma is critical because attitudes and beliefs about mental illness can prevent people from seeking desperately needed help.

There are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency. You will find valuable tools and resources in the sections below.

Adapted from MHA Mental Health Awareness Toolkit

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health America

Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting overall mental health for all. Please review the resources indicated below.

Parent Handbook

  • Parents may feel unsure about approaching the subject of mental health or mental illness with their children. Erika's Lighthouse has prepared a Parent Handbook with tips for speaking with children about depression and how to get help.

Trauma and Stress

  • We all may face trauma and adversity in our lives. MHA has provided a fact sheet entitled, Adapting after Trauma and Stress. This fact sheet includes the facts regarding trauma and tips for healing.

Resources for Immediate Response

  • MHA has compiled multiple resources for crises requiring an immediate response. You should also be aware of your school and local resources. In case of an emergency, always call 911 for help.

Tools 2 Thrive Outreach Toolkit

  • MHA's Mental Health Month Toolkit comprises six topics: Adapting After Trauma and Stress, Processing Big Changes, Getting Out of Thinking Traps, Radical Acceptance, Taking Time for Yourself, and Dealing with Anger and Frustration. Together, these tools help develop and employ resiliency that can help lead to brighter days.

National Center for School Mental Health - Get Involved

The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) hosts several events to promote children's mental health awareness and educator's mental health. Please see below for ways to get involved.


  • Taking time to work on your mental health as educators is vital to effectiveness and wellbeing. With so many added stressors through the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important now than ever to keep a tab on mental health and take the YOU time needed. All week, NCSMH is collaborating with the National Education Association (NEA) to support the mental health of educators. Follow us on Twitter (NCSMH, NEA) for new information each day! Use the hashtags #AEMentalHealth and #SchoolMentalHealth to share your thoughts.
  • Sign up for the Mental Health Roundtable this Friday, May 7th, at 8 pm ET.

Shine a Light on Kids' Wellbeing

  • #Elevate the Convo! Join the NCSMH for a Twitter Chat on children's mental health this Thursday, May 6th, at 8 pm ET.

Youth Move National

Youth MOVE: Leveraging Youth Advocacy

  • Wednesday, May 5th, 3-4 pm ET
  • Panelists: Tamara Manzer & Johanna Bergen
  • Click here to register

Teacher Appreciation Week

Thank You Sparta Teachers

It's Teacher Appreciation Week! Our teachers have always been superheroes, and this year, their powers were on full display. Teachers play a pivotal role in our community, and their flexibility, creativity, and resiliency are inspiring. We appreciate the teachers of STPS and all of the teachers in our lives!

Resources for Teacher Appreciation Week:

  • National Education Association - Thank an Educator Today and Every Day: Includes resources on how to show appreciation to teachers this week and throughout the year.
  • PTO Today - Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 Resources: Popular ideas, printables, clip art, and planning tools to help you celebrate your teachers in May (and throughout the year).
  • National PTA - This School Year, #ThankATeacher: Includes resources to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week.
  • Freebies for Teachers - This week, take advantage of the freebies that companies are offering. Restaurants such as Chipotle, McDonald's, and Chick-fil-a have deals for teachers. In addition, places like Office Depot and Staples have discounts available. Please click on the link for more details!

Sparta Education Foundation

The Sparta Education Foundation (SEA) is looking for volunteers! To learn more about their initiatives and work within the school community, please view their informational video or their website. Also, please check their upcoming event the SEF Cornament on June 6th.
Visit the Student Support Services Department Webpage

Please visit the Student Support Services Department Webpage that can be found on the district and school homepages of the website. The department webpage is updated with information about our programs and services.

Announcements & Resources

If you are looking for our latest announcements and resources, please check this webpage for updates.