Allen Support Team Parent News
Back to School Issue 2021
Quote of the Month
"Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students, and enthusiastic parents with high expectations." Bob Beauprez
6th Grade Counselor
7th Grade Counselor
8th Grade Counselor
School Social WorkerEmail: email@example.com
Mental Health CoordinatorEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
School PsychologistEmail: email@example.com
Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19: A Word from nasponline.com
Families across the country are adapting to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. The following tips can help.
STAY CALM, LISTEN, AND OFFER REASSURANCE
- Be a role model.
- Be aware of how you talk about COVID-19.
- Explain social distancing.
- Demonstrate deep breathing.
- Focus on the positive.
- Establish and maintain a daily routine.
- Identify projects that might help others.
- Offer lots of love and affection.
MONITOR TELEVISION VIEWING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
TAKE TIME TO TALK
- Let your children's questions guide you. Answer their questions truthfully, but don't offer unnecessary details or facts. Children always feel empowered if they can control some aspects of their life.
KEEP EXPLANATIONS AGE-APPROPRIATE
- Upper elementary and early middle school children. This age group often is more vocal in asking questions about whether they indeed are safe and what will happen if COVID-19 spreads in their area. They may need assistance separating reality from rumor and fantasy.
- Upper middle and high school students. Issues can be discussed in more depth. Refer them to appropriate sources of COVID-19 facts.
- For all children, encourage them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Be a good listener!
STAY CONNECTED TO SCHOOL
- Locate learning resources.
- Identify additional resources. Know if your school or district is providing additional resources, such meals, or technology, such as a laptop or tablet.
- Stay in touch. Find out how the school is communicating with families and students. Be sure to read any communications you receive. Check with you children, particularly older ones, as they may be receiving information directly that would be helpful for you to know.
- Connect with school staff. Reach out to your child’s teacher and other relevant school staff if you have concerns about their coping and keeping up with assignments or activities.
BE AWARE OF YOUR CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
Most children will manage well with the support of parents and other family members, even if showing signs of some anxiety or concerns, such as difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Some children, however, may have risk factors for more intense reactions, including severe anxiety, depression, and suicidal behaviors. Risk factors can include a pre-existing mental health problem, prior traumatic experiences or abuse, family instability, or the loss of a loved one. Parents and caregivers should contact a professional if children exhibit significant changes in behavior or any of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks.
Adolescents—sleeping and eating disturbances, agitation, increase in conflicts, physical complaints, delinquent behavior, and poor concentration.
- Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Coping-with-Stress-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/sma14-4885
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/children.html
- Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Use at Home, at Play, and Out and About, https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hand-sanitizer-factsheet.pdf
- NASP COVID-19 Resource Center, https://www.nasponline.org/COVID-19
10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Middle School
1. Attend Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences
2. Visit the School and Its Website
Allen Middle School: https://www.gcsnc.com/allen_middle
3. Support Homework Expectations
An important way to help is to make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit, distraction-free place to study that's stocked with school supplies. Distraction-free means no phone, TV or websites other than homework-related resources. And be sure to check in from time to time to make sure that your child hasn't gotten distracted. Sit down with your child regularly to talk about class loads and make sure they're balanced. It's also a good idea to set a specific start time for homework each night. Helping preteens and teens establish a homework schedule and consistent homework routine sends a message that academics are a priority.
Encourage your child to ask for help when it's needed. Most teachers are available for extra help before or after school, and also might be able to recommend other resources.
4. Send Your Child to School Ready to Learn
Pre-teens and teens need the right amount of sleep to be alert and ready to learn all day. In general, preteens need about 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night and teens need about 8½ to 9½ hours. Bedtime difficulties can arise at this age for a variety of reasons. Homework, sports, after-school activities, texting, TVs, computers, and video games, as well as hectic family schedules, can contribute to students not getting enough sleep. Also try to prevent kids from napping after school to ensure they can fall asleep at an appropriate time each night.
5. Instill Organization Skills
Being organized is a key to success in middle school, where most students first encounter multiple teachers and classrooms on a daily basis, and where some students are participating in extracurricular or after-school activities for the first time.
It's also a good idea to make sure your preteen or teen knows how to make a daily to-do list to prioritize tasks and manage time. An after-school to-do list can be as simple as:
- swim practice
- walk the dog
- study for social studies test (30 minutes)
- finish math worksheet
- read over science class notes (15 minutes)
- put clothes away
6. Teach Study Skills
Be sure you both know when tests are scheduled, and plan enough study time before each.
Remind your child to take notes in class, organize them by subject, and review them at home each day.
7. Know the Disciplinary and Bullying Policies
The policies include details about attendance, vandalism, cheating, fighting, and weapons. Many schools also have specific policies about bullying.
GCS form: https://tinyurl.com/8cta2rm2 .
8. Get Involved
Volunteering at your child's middle school is a great way to show you're interested in his or her education.
GCS Volunteer Sign Up: https://www.gcsvolunteers.com/volunteer.php?newflag=1
9. Take Attendance Seriously
Middle schoolers should take a sick day if they have a fever, are nauseated, vomiting, or have diarrhea. Otherwise, it's important that they arrive at school on time every day, because having to catch up with class work, projects, tests, and homework can be stressful and interfere with learning. Middle schoolers may have many reasons for not wanting to go to school — bullies, difficult assignments, low grades, social problems, or issues with classmates or teachers. T
10. Make Time to Talk About School
Make efforts to talk with your child every day, so he or she knows that what goes on at school is important to you. When preteens and teens know their parents are interested in their academic lives, they'll take school seriously as well.
Besides during family meals, good times to talk include car trips (though eye contact isn't needed here, of course), walking the dog, preparing meals, or standing in line at a store.
When preteens and teens know they can talk openly with their parents, the challenges of middle school can be a little easier to face.