Student Support Services Newsletter

November 2020

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From the Department

Dear Spartan Community,

In this season of thankfulness, we are grateful for our amazing students, innovative staff members, supportive families and united community. Your resilience during this time is unmatched and we are thankful for you all!

Please see below for department updates, highlights, and information.

Warm Wishes,

The Student Support Services Department

K-8 Guidance & Social Emotional Learning

Sparta Elementary Schools

    The character trait to focus on in K-5 is Responsibility. Our Choose Love movement is moving along and K-5 has been focusing on Love and Hope in September and Feelings are OK and Growth Mindset in October. November starts a new theme which is Courage.

    Do you have questions about Response To Intervention or the K-8 Instructional Intervention Program?

    Please visit the RTI Instructional Intervention Program Website for an overview of the K-8 Instructional Intervention Program and to learn more about the K-8 student referral procedure.

    District Mental Wellness Task Force

    Student Wellness Survey Results

    What: The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a mental wellness screening tool for use with children and adolescents. The questionnaire is comprised of 25 items and it assesses both strengths and challenges related to student behaviors.

    Who: The SDQ was administered during the first week of school to students in grades K-12. Parents were notified about the questionnaire prior to the start of school year and approximately 2,000 parents consented to participate in the questionnaire. A total of 671 completed questionnaires were received. Parents of students in grades K-5 completed 361 questionnaires and students in grades 6-12 completed 310 questionnaires.

    Results: The results indicate that the majority of participants who completed the survey are able to meet the challenges of day-to-day life and are not experiencing overwhelming difficulties. However, there are some participants who completed the survey that are experiencing difficulties with emotions and hyperactivity. Due to the implications of Covid-19, it is not surprising that students are experiencing higher levels in these two areas.

    The results suggest:

    • Programming to support students’ emotional needs both universally and in a targeted manner
    • Programming related to mindfulness practices and relaxation approaches, the inclusion of physical activity every day, and strategies for reducing distractions

    Next steps:

    • Our Guidance Counselors have started to follow up with individual students based on their survey responses that fell into the high to very high impact range. Our team will provide support to meet individual needs.

    Chat with Dr. Saskia Brown

    Virtual Coffee Chat

    Do you want to talk with Dr. Brown, learn about the work of the SSS department, ask questions or share your ideas and feedback? If so, you're in luck!

    Starting Friday, November 13th, Dr. Brown will be hosting bi-weekly virtual chats from⋅7:30am – 8:30am. Please pop-in and join her for coffee and casual conversation. This informal gathering is open to everyone!

    Virtual Link to Join:

    Visit the Student Support Services Department Webpage

    Please visit the Student Support Services Department Webpage that can be found on the district and school homepages of the website. The department webpage is updated with information about our programs and services.

    Announcements & Resources

    If you are looking for our latest announcements and resources, please check this webpage for updates.