Whole Child Newsletter

August 2020

Student Stress Workshop

Do you know a young person who is struggling with the stress of all we are going through and is worried about going back to school?

LifeWays Community Mental Health (CMH) is offering a two-session workshop designed to explore the feelings of stress and anxiety students may be
experiencing while preparing to return to school in the fall. For more information:


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The Traumatic Experience of Covid-19

Presentation Description: "With the closure of schools, stay at home orders, layoffs, an economic recession (and fear of collapse), and essential healthcare providers and others being asked to show up to aid the thousands of individuals becoming extremely ill and dying, stressed and traumatized children have been cut off from the teachers, counselors, and advocates who supported them when perhaps their families or caregivers could not. In this respect, it is not surprising that many refer to the months and years that will follow the COVID-19 pandemic as a “trauma tsunami.” It is our hope that Starr can provide you with information, guidance and understanding that will help you and the children and families you serve understand the impact of COVID-19, and to find resilience and hope during the "new now". "

Use the password freekeynote to access The Traumatic Experience of Covid-19 presented by Dr. Cealan Soma from Starr Commonwealth's 2020 Trauma and Resilience Virtual Conference.

Attendance Awareness Campaign

As a result of the many challenges presented by Covid-19, Attendance Works is launching the 2020 Attendance Awareness Campaign this month!

This year – more than ever before – there is a great need to invest in the transition back to school for both students and families. Every student and family experienced some level of stress, while others have experienced deep trauma from family illness, death, and loss of income.

The focus for this Attendance Awareness Campaign is on providing resources for educators and policymakers to help plan for the transition back to school in our new environment. This year’s theme – Present, Engaged, and Supported! – emphasizes that strong, trusting relations between kids, families, teachers, and other critical school staff will have a significant impact on the ability of students to focus and learn in this new environment. Establishing and maintaining regular communication with families and welcoming them as partners will help ensure that students are supported at home and in school.

Click HERE for more information

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Preparing to Reopen: Six Principles That Put Equity at the Core

In traditional planning processes, we often design for how the 80 percent of perceived “average” students will be served. We then address the remaining 20 percent—the outliers. While it’s an approach chosen for efficiency, it actually results in time spent retrofitting and/or parallel processes to accommodate those who don’t fit the average mold.

1. First, do no harm

2. Be intentional with seats at a table

3. Empower teachers to meet students' needs

4. Apply principles of Universal Learning Design to the preparation process

5. Privilege what you already know works

6. Learn from bright spots

Preparing to Reopen: Six Principles That Put Equity at the Core

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Mapping Students’ Support Networks in Preparation for the Fall

“Despite educators’ valiant efforts this past spring, too many students still struggled to connect to their peers, teachers, and counselors,” say Mahnaz Charania and Julia Freeland Fisher (Clayton Christensen Institute) in this article in The 74. In some cases, especially at the middle- and high-school level, this stemmed from “a troubling lack of people to turn to for academic and emotional help.” Given the uncertainties of the coming school year, Charania and Fisher believe three things are essential: (a) that all students have a well-connected support network at school and at home; (b) that each student is surrounded by “an interconnected web of positive relationships;” and (c) that every student has at least one “person on the ground” – a mentor, tutor, parent, or neighbor who is physically present to offer support if needed.

Mapping Students' Support Networks

Principles for Successful School Reopening

In this MIT Teaching Systems Lab report, Justin Reich (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Jal Mehta (Harvard Graduate School of Education) draw on extensive outreach to students, teachers, principals, parents, district administrators, state officials, and other stakeholders to suggest seven principles for reopening schools this fall. Reich and Mehta assume that most schools will be operating with a hybrid or remote learning plan for at least the first part of the 2020-21 year.

These principles are not intended to address the all-important planning that’s being done to keep students and staff safe. Rather, Reich and Mehta focus on helping schools think through their core values and provide access to the best resources to support work with students and families. Several insights guided their research:

- The coronavirus has created a highly complex and uncertain situation with very few known solutions.

- In situations like this, the best approach is lots of experimentation in the field, with teams looking at the results to figure out what works.

- To avoid incoherence, experimentation must be implemented with shared values so local innovators are rowing in the same direction.

- It’s important to decide on a few common structures – for example, a shared technology platform – to facilitate communication and collaboration.

- A culture of trust and inclusion is vital; as Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Read More Here: Principles for Successful School Reopening

Seattle Racial Equity Analysis Tool

Research indicates that racial disparities exist in virtually every key indicator of child, family, and community well-being. Individual, institutional and structural impacts of race and racism are pervasive and significantly affect key life indicators of success. The Racial Equity Analysis Tool lays out a clear process and a set of questions to guide the development, implementation and evaluation of significant policies, initiatives, professional development, programs, instructional practices and budget issues to address the impacts on racial equity.

To do this requires ending individual racism, institutional racism and structural racism. The concept of racial equity goes beyond formal racial equality — where all students are treated the same — to fostering a barrier-free environment where all students, regardless of their race have the opportunity to achieve. This means differentiating resource allocations, within budgetary limitations, to serve students with the support and opportunities they need to succeed academically.

Why and when should I use it?

• Use this tool to create an equity lens for educational leaders: The Racial Equity Analysis Toolkit provides a set of guiding questions to determine if existing and proposed policies, budgetary decisions, programs, professional development and instructional practices are likely to close the opportunity gap for specific racial groups.

• Apply the tool to decrease the opportunity gap, and increase positive outcomes for students of color.

Racial Equity Tool

10 steps to incorporating student voice into remote learning

What became clear through all of this is that student voice is more important than ever. When students have a voice in their learning, they are five times more likely to be engaged. Particularly in the absence of in-person interactions, we must do everything we can to ensure that the voices of students are not lost in online learning. The messages we send to students during this time will tell them a great deal about how we value them as individuals and how we value learning.

1. Be Creative in the Box

2. Don't Hide

3. Grow Bigger Ears

4. Embrace the Unknown

5. Become a Yoda

6. Keep it Real

7. It's Okay to Smile

8. "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

9. Unmask the Hidden Heroes

10. Don't Forget About YOU

10 Steps for Incorporating Student Voice Into Remote Learning

Google Forms for Check-In

Student's mental well-being is more important than ever. Here are some Google Form options that you can completely customize to make shorter, adjust the questions to your liking or add new questions. The Daily Check-ins can be used when you are not with your students or when they are in your classroom. These all-inclusive check-ins will give the students some quick mindfulness videos that they can use to help them get ready for there day. It will also offer teachers great mental health check-in data. The Fall Check-in is designed to gather some initial data about your students to help foster those relationships. It is designed for upper elementary through high school. The questions could easily be adjusted to be used as a tool for parents to complete on their little ones.

Daily Check-In for Upper El with Mood Meter

Daily Check-in for MS/HS with Mood Meter

Fall Student Check-In

Webinars to Help you Build Classroom Culture

Building Relationships and Classroom Culture in a Blended Environment

In this webinar recording, participants will capture strategies and tools to help check in on your students, give them tools to help them get ready to learn and walk through a variety of strategies to help you develop a positive classroom culture that could easily be implemented into your virtual classroom as well as in your physical classroom.

PBIS Basics in a Remote Learning Environment

In this webinar recording, participants learn how to set remote learning expectations will review a variety of remote instruction behavior expectations examples as well as other helpful tips to help set their students up for digital success

Yoga For Teachers | Yoga With Adriene
COVID-Safe #BacktoSchoolABCs

Contact the Whole Child Team

Janelle Buchler: Whole Child Consultant (janelle.buchler@jcisd.org)

Eric Swihart: Whole Child Coordinator (eric.swihart@jcisd.org)

Caitlin Williams: Attendance and Homeless Program Coordinator (caitlin.williams@jcisd.org)

Rebecca Hurst: Behavior Health Project Coordinator (rebecca.hurst@jcisd.org)

Kelsea Jabkiewicz: Data Integration and Medicaid Cost Recovery Coordinator (kelsea.jabkiewicz@jcisd.org)

Angela Maddox: Whole Child Secretary (angela.maddox@jcisd.org)