I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy!
It has been wonderful to welcome more students into the building! They have been teaching us all a great deal about patience, flexibility, and resilience, and I am incredibly proud of them.
I have been continuing my virtual lessons using the Second Step program. In our K - 5 classes, we have been learning about kindness, managing big emotions, and making mistakes. In grades 6 - 8, we recently focused on conflict resolution, helpful vs. unhelpful stress management techniques, and positive vs. negative self-talk. We have continued learning about how our decision-making can be impacted by emotions, and what we can do to recognize the signals our bodies give us when we begin to feel overwhelmed.
We brought g some exciting virtual presentations to all of our students! Read more information about these programs below.
Please remember that I am here to support the students however I can. I am available to meet via zoom if a student needs help or just wants to talk! Don't hesitate to reach out if I can support you in any way.
Please continue to read below for some information that I hope you will find useful! My website is updated regularly as well. You will find my virtual office there, which is updated with links to resources and lessons.
Discover Your Passion and Purpose
As you know, Green Hills School is committed to taking serious, proactive steps to curb bullying. Our efforts this year have focused on raising awareness about bullying and cyberbullying with students.
This year, we obtained a video production titled "Ryan's Story" by Mr. John Halligan, an international speaker and author with over 11 years of experience presenting in over 2000 schools. Due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 preventing his in-person presentation, he has created a video version to continue reaching students' hearts and minds.We shared this video with 7th and 8th grade students. In the presentation, John relayed his own tragic experience as a Dad whose 13-year-old son took his own life in 2003, after bullying by peers, both in school and online. Mr. Halligan further shared that Ryan wrestled with underlying mental health issues and depression and that these factors contributed to Ryan's vulnerability and ultimate suicide. His story is riveting and compelling and reminds students that a face, a person, a heart, is on the other end of the screen.
The students gained a perspective from inside the family of a child victim of bullying and cyberbullying. They learned lessons about forgiveness, suicide prevention, bystanders' role, and a challenge to apologize to someone.
We were also lucky enough to be able to offer a parent presentation via Zoom with Mr. Halligan, where he relayed his personal story, and offered lessons learned regarding cyberbullying, social media, and teen depression.
Minding Your Mind Programs - K - 6
Our students in grades 5 & 6 participated in the Changing Minds program, which focused on eliminating the stigma around mental illness. The presentation included educational resources about mental health, including:
- the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions
- that mental health issues are common and treatable
- the similarities between physical and mental health
- negative vs. positive coping skills
- how to ask for help yourself or for a friend
Children's System of Care Offers Support for Families
"Kids, teens and young adults are coping with a lot, from uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic to the social impact of civil unrest and protests. On top of the general challenges that come with growing up, many young people are feeling heightened senses of anxiety, depression and loneliness. For some, this can lead to extreme behavioral changes – like acting out, substance use or running away from home.
DCF's Children's System of Care (CSOC), formerly the Division of Child Behavioral Health Services, serves children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral health care challenges and their families; children with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families; and, children with substance use challenges and their families. CSOC is committed to providing services based on the needs of the child and family in a family-centered, community-based environment.
The Children's System of Care offers a wide range of services for children up to age 21 for behavioral health or developmental disability needs. These services include community-based services, in-home services, out-of-home residential services, and family support services. For questions about or to access behavioral health or developmental disability services for children and youth, call the 24-hour, toll-free Access Line at: 1-877-652-7624."
Helping Kids Make Decisions
44 Books About Mental Health for Young People
What Can You Control?
Signs of Depression During COVID
Dealing with Big Feelings
Grades 6 - 8 will begin the year by focusing on mindsets & goals. We will learn more about developing a growth-mindset, building empathy, creating action plans, and goal-setting!
Grades K - 5 will begin with a focus on respect, assertiveness, empathy, and positive self-talk!