Chestatee Counseling Newsletter

Chestatee Elementary School

March 15, 2020

Leila Fondo: K-2 Counselor can be contacted at

Brittany Brookshire: 3-5 Counselor can be contacted at

The uncertainty of our current health crisis along with changes to schedules and lives, may increase stress and anxiety in children. Please utilize the resources attached below for guidance on having conversations with your child about Coronavirus. If you have an elevated concern regarding your child’s emotional state or have a need for additional assistance, please feel free to contact your child’s assigned counselor. Our students may also send us messages through It’s Learning as well.

Please also see the attachments for additional resources, including food. Please call the agencies/churches listed on the Food assistance list first to make sure they are open and have food available.

On March 16-20 meal pick-up services for all students on the campuses of Sawnee ES and Whitlow ES from 12-1 pm. This is open to all public and private school students in Forsyth County pre-school to age 18 (21 for special needs students).

Students must be present with the adult during pick-up. We will be providing two free meals - one lunch for the day, one breakfast for the following day - via a drive-thru service.

The Place of Forsyth, has both food and financial resources. They are also accepting donations. Their contact information is:
2550 The Place Circle, Cumming

Rest assured we are here to support our students, parents, and greater community as needed. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, feel free to reach out.

Per the CDC website:

Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children.

As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.

General principles for talking to children

Remain calm and reassuring.

· Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

· Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

· Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.

Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

· Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

Provide information that is honest and accurate.

· Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.

· Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

· Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.

· Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.

· Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff.
(e.g., increased handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)

· Get children into a handwashing habit.

o Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.

o If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.

Retrieved from CDC website March 13, 2020

Additional Resources that you may find helpful: