Wellness Connection

Pittsford Schools Mental and Behavioral Health: MASLOW WHO?

Hello community members big and small!

During this time when many of us are feeling taxed in one way or another and trying to overcome obstacles that are out of our control, we are sharing a sentiment that is often used in the mental health community, "Maslow before Bloom." Blooms taxonomy, developed by psychologist Benjamin Bloom, is a classification of the different objectives and skills that educators set for students (learning objectives). Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a classification system developed by psychologist Abraham Maslow, which reflects universal human needs necessary to foster motivation and contentment. Maslow before Bloom tells us that it's important to focus on basic human needs before learning can occur. More simply put, a stressed brain has less capacity for learning. This newsletter highlights the importance of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and includes resources and activities for students and caregivers.

We are all doing our best. Whether that’s keeping up with work demands while at home, educating our kids while they are out of school, caring for others ‘virtually’ or simply taking care of more responsibilities while trying to create a ‘new normal’ in a time of uncertainty. You are doing a great job!

Be well,

Patricia Vaughan-Brogan, Ed.D.

Director of Student Services

Greta B. Johnston, MS, CAS

Student Services Specialist

Big picture


This is a time to do a FEW things we normally don’t prioritize:

Use this time to reflect on what you’re doing well. It may not feel like you’re having many successes each day. You may feel lost or hopeless at times. But, if you spend some time each day reflecting on the small victories (completing a task for work or getting a load of laundry done) you’ll find that you’re making it work.

Aside from celebrating the small accomplishments, recognize things for which to be grateful. Do you have food in the refrigerator? Are you healthy? Can you connect with your family and friends via phone or computer? Did you smile at least once today?

Self-care doesn’t mean you should take a bubble bath or get a massage. It means you should do the things that bring you joy and give you energy. Do you like to cook? Enjoy exercising? Play an instrument? You may find there is more time for you to focus on things you’re passionate about or start something new.

Even though you may not be accomplishing all the things on your ‘to do’ list, make sure you’re getting done what you can so you can feel a sense of purpose each day. Don’t push yourself (see the second point in self-care), but try to set realistic expectations of yourself.

The main thing to keep in mind during all of this—give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can with the situation at hand and putting pressure on yourself to ‘do better’ can make challenging times even more difficult. And, make sure to give grace to those who may be having a hard time being productive while juggling various challenges of their own. Everyone manages stress differently. None of us know what the other person is going through, so be kind.

For more ideas on how to keep being an awesome person during Covid-19, visit us at www.randomactsofkindness.org.

Coping with COVID-19: One-Mindfulness with Dovid Spinka, LMSW


SEL at Home for Elementary School

SEL at Home for Middle School

SEL at Home for High School


CASEL CARES: So Now What? Supporting SEL at Home

POSITIVE PARENTING-UR Medicine, Dr. Melissa Heatly

UR Medicine-Fostering Family Resiliency during COVID-19





A deeper dive into the Calm app

Once you have downloaded the Calm app to your phone, you can easily access guided breathing which can be useful during times of stress or to help fall asleep.

Follow these steps:

1. On the bottom right hand corner, click More

2. Click Breathing Exercise

3. Choose the length of time for breathing

4. Click "Start Breathing"


More on this topic...


Stay connected-Share your experiences!

We would love to hear about your experiences and share some of your photos.

Please send comments or photos to: patricia_brogan@pittsford.monroe.edu greta_johnston@pittsford.monroe.edu