Resources for Educators & Families

JCISD Whole Child: May 18th

Weekly Learning Snapshot Highlight: How to Check in With Peers

Students...have you checked in with your classmates recently? Here are some tips and tricks to efficiently check in with your peers that you no longer see daily.

Theme: Building Relationships: Making and Sustaining a Connection

Audience: For use by students in grades 6-12

Presentation: How to Check In With Peers(voice-over), How to Check In With Peers (slides)

Additional materials: Discussion Questions , A Student's Guide to Checking In with Peers

Please click HERE to evaluate and provide feedback on this resource.

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Food Distribution Sites

Our schools and community have come together to ensure that all of our students are fed during this time of crisis. Click here for a list of school district food distribution sites.

Michigan Department of Education also released a map showing food sites across the state.

View it here.

Jackson County Food Pantry List

Covid-19 Resources for Mental Health

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Distance Learning Resources from JCISD Tech

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MESSA Resources

Are you, or someone you know struggling during this time away from all that we know as “normal”? Do you need someone to talk to? MESSA Insurance has remote options that can provide support to you or a family member during this time. If you are insured by MESSA, access their resources for medical or mental health visits via telehealth or online options.

Information on MESSA Online and Telehealth Options for Those Insured by MESSA

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Distance Learning: Tips for Supporting Parents and Families

Parent and family involvement has always been essential to student learning and success. But, as more students must learn from home as a result of school closures, family involvement has taken on an entirely new meaning. Suddenly, many families are being asked to assume a lot more responsibility in their students’ schooling, and teachers are seeking ways to best guide and support them.

1. Embrace the differences and opportunities in learning at home.

2. Give parents and families the right scaffolding

3. Set clear expectations for communication.

4. Be mindful and supportive of different backgrounds.

Tips for Supporting Parents and Families

A Positive Classroom Climate, Even from a Distance

Our teaching lives changed substantially as schools rapidly moved to online and distance learning formats. Many of the rituals caring educators have relied on suddenly became impossible. The warm handshake at the classroom door, the encouraging hand on the shoulder of a student who is working through a problem—these small gestures, as well as the other rituals we have embedded into our classrooms, don't all travel well.

The positive climate of the classroom and school fuels student learning. We sometimes hear the terms school culture and school climate used interchangeably. Our working definition is that the school climate comprises the rules, norms, and procedures that govern the classroom. But school climate is essentially how it feels to be part of the classroom community. It is students' perception that matters, regardless of what we say we are (or are not) doing.

In fact, whole-school efforts to positively affect school climate have promising results on student learning and achievement (Daily et al., 2020). Much of the school climate data out there focus on school connectedness—a sense of belonging and closeness with peers and adults. But how can this happen at a distance? We're learning along with you about how to foster a positive school climate from afar.

Learn the Strategies for a Positive Classroom Climate HERE

Oh, Good, the Kids Are Fighting Again...

Nobody said listening to kids bicker is fun. But lockdown offers a chance to teach them how to resolve conflicts on their own.

Want Advice on How to Do This? Click here

Social Emotional Learning Packet

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing every day social skills, knowledge and behavior that are vital to school, work and life success. SEL enhances students’ capacity to handle effectively and ethically daily tasks and challenges.

Lansing District Schools Grades K-3 Social Emotional Learning Packet

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Resources for Distance Learning

  • Soft Skills High is offering a free online teacher training program to support building best practices for soft skills instruction. Learn more and sign up at
  • Thinglink – Tools to create interactive images, videos and other multimedia resources.
  • Buncee – Supports the creation and sharing visual representations of learning content, including media-rich lessons, reports, newsletters and presentations.
  • EdPuzzle – Video lesson creation software.
  • Comics and Cartoons in the Classroom- Read on to see how you can use comics and cartoons with children and students.
  • Creating Community through Writing- Children and students need to feel that they own their space and the learning that takes place in it
  • Family Fun!- Encourage family relationship building by participating in family activities during breaks from school.
  • Family Literacy- The following resources from NCTE and provide more ideas for fostering family literacy.
  • “I Know the Answer to 1 Down!”- Nothing tests your knowledge like a crossword puzzle! But did you know the format of a crossword puzzle can be an effective learning tool, too?
  • Spending Time with Family- If you are spending time with friends and family, in person or virtually, work together on these activities!
  • Students’ Use of Social Media for Advocacy- Since a majority of our students are engaging with social media outside the classroom, it makes good sense to integrate it into learning.
  • Support Literacy Learners All Year Long- Breaks from school offer wonderful opportunities for families, caregivers, and out-of-school educators to help improve reading and writing.‘s Parent & Afterschool Resources and NCTE provide many

Get Active!

10 Minute Standing ABS WORKOUT // No Equipment

Contact the Whole Child Team

Janelle Buchler: Whole Child Consultant (

Eric Swihart: Whole Child Coordinator (

Caitlin Williams: Attendance and Homeless Program Coordinator (

Rebecca Hurst: Behavior Health Project Coordinator (

Kelsea Jabkiewicz: Data Integration and Medicaid Cost Recovery Coordinator (

Angela Maddox: Whole Child Secretary (