North Merrick Everyday Health
Road to Resiliency: Assess, Adapt, Adjust
During the Superintendent's Conference Days, curriculum from the "First Aid for Feelings" workbook, geared to help K-2 students cope with COViD-19, was modified in a virtual presentation for faculty in grades 3-6 so that all K-6 classes are supported. The teachers received this original and unique professional development directly from the author Denise Daniels as well as Karen Baicker, Executive Director of the Yale Child Study Center and Scholastic Collaborative for Child and Family Resilience.
The North Merrick Mental Health and Wellness Coalition continues to meet regularly and work closely with central administration to ensure the well-being of everyone in the school community. The coalition provides ongoing guidance using social-emotional learning and a solution-focused mindset. In particular, the coalition is assisting the district in following the theme of Assess (what we see), Adapt (how we feel), and Adjust (how we recalibrate) in order to navigate necessary changes throughout the school year.
North Merrick Starts Every Day with Morning Meetings
In partnership with the Mental Health and Wellness Coalition, North Merrick schools have incorporated the Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting concept into the school day, every day. This is a student-centered, evidence-based approach to teaching and learning. The objective is to gauge students' social and emotional well-being when they arrive at school. Students greet one another, gather, listen and share, and then participate in a group activity to set a positive tone for the school day. They are encouraged to give "voice" to their feelings, and teachers help students recognize, understand and manage their feelings in a healthy, age-appropriate way. The three schools also continue their commitment to mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude journal writing across the grades.
No Place for Hate!
Parent Resource: Coping Skills for Kids
In dealing with the ongoing stress of COVID-19, she suggests that parents help their children to:
- Label their feelings to recognize and manage emotions.
- Acknowledge what they can and cannot control, and focus on YOU - how you behave and respond.
- Make a plan by identifying a problem and generating a variety of ideas to solve it.
- Do something fun - play is a natural stress reliever and an important distraction skill.