Student Support Services Newsletter

December 2020

Big picture

From the Department

Season's Greetings Spartan Community,

Whew, what a year! It has been full of surprises and adjustments, but our community's commitment and dedication to our students, staff, and families has never wavered. Thank you for giving hope and love during these unconventional times. This community continues to prove that it is unlike any other. We are truly Spartan Strong!

During this holiday season, please practice self-care. This is not the year to get everything you want. This is year to appreciate everything you have.

Warm Wishes,

The Student Support Services Department

Health & Wellness

Quick Reference Mental Health Guide

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) have collaborated to provide resources to assist schools in addressing the emotional well-being and mental health needs of students and staff.

This user-friendly Quick Reference Mental Health Guide was created by the NJDOE, NJDCF and a subcommittee of the Statewide Mental Health Working Group to address the mental health needs of New Jersey's students and educators. It is organized into three tiers to align with the MTSS and RTI frameworks often used in New Jersey schools.

The Quick Reference Mental Health Guide includes:

  • Links to state services and national resources
  • Links to a sampling of documents and websites on reopening schools
  • Lists of strategies and practices to address mental health needs

Educator Well Being

The following resources are from the New Jersey Department of Education's Restart & Recovery Plan: The Road Back.

Five Strategies for Teacher Self-Care: This article, provided by ASCD, details five self-care strategies and practices that teachers can use.

Educator Resilience and Trauma-Informed Self-Care: This handout, provided by the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at the American Institutes for Research, includes a self-care, self-assessment with key strategies for fostering resilience. It also includes a self-care planning tool to assist educators in identifying areas of strength and growth related to self-care and developing self-care plans.

Trauma Informed Social Emotional Learning

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting from COVID-19: This article, provided by the National Association of School Psychologists, gives tips to families and adults on how to guide children through the stressful events and changes in daily life caused by COVID-19.

Strategies for Trauma-Informed Distanced Learning: This brief developed by the Center to Improve Social Emotional Learning and School Safety at WestEd, offers strategies and examples on how to recognize and respond to students' social and emotional needs while teaching remotely.

A Little Positivity

The year 2020 was supposed to be "THAT" year for many of us. It was coined the "year of vision," and many had high expectations. Well, it's safe to say that we did not foresee what 2020 had in store!

Due to current events, it can be easy to view life through a "negative" lens and neglect the beauty of the simplistic and positive things that have occurred all around us. During this holiday season, give yourself the gift of positivity by creating a "positivity corner." It's guaranteed to improve your vision.

WHAT: The positivity corner is a place you list things that went well during the day, week, or year.

WHY: When thinking shifts from negative to positive, our bodies are surged with feel-good chemicals. Enough said!


Your positivity corner can be:

  • a post-it note you post to your fridge
  • a jar you fill with positive notes or events
  • a journal where you write three things your grateful for each day
  • a list in the notes feature of your phone or google doc

Include the small and big wins:

  • Did you wake up this morning? "Checkmate!"
  • Did you eat at least one healthy meal during the week? "There you go!"
  • Did you do laundry and manage to fold clothes? "You're unstoppable!"

The year 2020 is not perfect, but we have control over how we view it. Moving forward, whenever you catch yourself thinking about all that is your wrong in world, challenge yourself to shift your perspective. Reflect on what is going well, utilize your positivity corner or a positive practice that works best. You won't regret it!

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.