Resources for Educators & Families

JCISD Whole Child: May 25th

Learning Snapshot: Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Needs in my Child

Change is hard for everyone...Learn more about how to identify signs and symptoms of mental health needs in your child.

Theme: Recognition of Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health (ie signs of anxiety, depression)

Audience: For use by parents.

Presentation: Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Needs in my Child (voice-over), Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Needs in my Child (slides)

Additional materials: Discussion Questions , Identifying Signs and Symptoms Visual

Big picture

Food Distribution Sites

Our schools and community have come together to ensure that all of our students are fed during this time of crisis. Click here for a list of school district food distribution sites.

Michigan Department of Education also released a map showing food sites across the state.

View it here.

Jackson County Food Pantry List


As remote learning continues for much of the country, members of the Sex Education Collaborative (SEC), including MOASH, have created a new online Training Hub with a wide variety of professional development offerings for educators and school administrators. gathers trusted trainings and resources from national, regional, and state-based sex education organizations for access wherever educators and administrators are working. In addition to this newest offering, members have jointly created the Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education, released last year.

The SEC envisions a world in which all young people’s right to comprehensive, high-quality sex education is recognized and fulfilled. This vision can only be realized if educators have the knowledge, training, and support to effectively deliver sex education.

Resources and training opportunities can be found at Please share this new resource far and wide with your networks! If you’re interested in highlighting it, contact Eric Swihart ( and he will send a toolkit including a newsletter blurb, social media guidance, and graphics.

8 Tips to Help Your Child Focus and Stay Engaged During Distance Learning

As schools are faced with the challenge of providing learning opportunities for all students at a distance, parents are called on to be more involved than ever before, particularly for their younger learners and those with learning challenges and disabilities. Maintaining high levels of engagement can be challenging even for savvy adult learners.

How do we best help our kids make the most of these distance learning experiences?

1. Understand the Expectations of Authentic Engagement

2. Determine What Type of Activities Work Best for your Child

3. Encourage Movement

4. Reduce Distractions

5. Adjust Your Schedule As Needed

6. Use a Checklist for Focus

7. Give Yourself and Child a Break

8 Tips to Help Your Child Focus and Stay Engaged

Can we stop telling the ‘corona kids’ how little they are learning?

Since schools shut down, students have been called the “hobbled” generation and the “covid class.” They have been told they have or will experience covid-related slides, losses, gaps and other deficiencies that are “disastrous.” They have been told that they are frying their brains by using phones, tablets and other devices to stay connected to friends, culture and a sense of normalcy, and that they are learning less than they should or close to nothing at all.

They should be told the opposite.

When these students begin the 2020-2021 school year, we should welcome them with wonder and assume they have learned immeasurable and previously unknowable things. We should assume they have been tested, stretched and challenged in new ways. We should imagine that even the youngest have been through a refining fire and have emerged with some kind of hard-won wisdom we may not yet see.

Read the Entire Article Here

Beyond the Buzzwords: What Does Trauma-Informed Care Truly Mean?

Trauma-informed care recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system.

Trauma-informed care recognizes the impact of historical and intergenerational trauma. In recent years, more attention has been paid to how trauma is passed through generations. For example, Jewish psychiatrist Dr. Rachel Yahuda pioneered the field of intergenerational transmission of trauma by studying how children of Holocaust survivors were affected by their parents’ trauma. Native American social worker Dr. Maria Yellowhorse Braveheart studied similar patterns in indigenous communities, and African-American social worker Dr. Joy DeGruy expanded on this work and coined the term “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” Adaptive responses to trauma that are passed down are often pathologized by people of privilege. Trauma-informed care recognizes trauma on many levels.

Read all the components of what trauma-informed care truly means here

Using a “Stoplight” approach to Identifying Safe and Healthy Activities

With spring fever, warmer days and spring and summer holidays quickly approaching it is very tempting to reduce our social distancing! When deciding if an activity is safe to participate in...envision a stop light. “Green light” activities are those things that are safe to do. “Yellow light” activities are those in which you should use caution. Wear a face covering or mask when appropriate. “Red light” activities are those activities you should avoid. Thinking about activity in these ways will help you, and those around you, to stay safe and healthy!

Safe Social Distancing Flyer

CDC Safe Distancing Flyer

7 Ways to Make Distance Learning More Equitable

Many students lack internet and technology access at home. High numbers of parents and caregivers are now unemployed and struggling to meet basic needs. For parents and caregivers who work in essential jobs outside the home, older students are sometimes responsible for their younger siblings, making at-home learning a challenge. And teachers, administrators, and families of students with special needs are questioning whether it will be possible to provide students with disabilities equal access to a high-quality education under these circumstances.

1. Check in with your students regularly

2. Help your students' families get connected

3. Choose tools that are mobile friendly and/or can be used offline

4. Try to keep online lessons asynchronous vs. synchronous

5. Double down on project-based learning

6. Maintain extracurricular activities

7. Partner with community based organizations

7 Ways to Make Distance Learning More Equitable

Why We Stay Home: Kids Book Read Aloud

📚 Kids Book Read Aloud: WHY WE STAY HOME - SUZIE LEARNS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS by Harris, Scott and Rodis

All About Coronavirus: A Video for Kids and Their Families

All about Coronavirus: A Video for Kids and Their Families | Michigan Public Health

Resources for Distance Learning

  • Learning Express Library (Available through JDL and Test preparation (SAT, AP), skill-building resources in language arts, math, science, career preparation.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Available through JDL and Different views for issues that help students develop critical thinking skills. Helpful for debates, position papers.
  • Brittanica School Middle (Available through Grades 5-7. Find maps, photos, articles, and famous people and places. Compare countries and tour the U.S.A. For homework help and your curiosity.
  • Brittanica School High (Available through Quick facts and in-depth information on history, geography, people, places, science, and more. Biographies, world atlas, countries comparison, articles, and interactive resources are available.
  • eBook High School Collection (Available through For high school students and educators. There is a selection of teacher resources and titles align with Common Core Curriculum Standards. You may access the full text of these eBooks from your computer, or download titles to most popular portable devices.
  • Michigan History Magazine (Available through A popular history magazine geared toward professionals and enthusiasts alike, Michigan History offers a wide variety of subject matter, time frames, and perspectives while inspiring, educating, and entertaining its readers.
  • Poetry & Short Story Reference Center (Available through link): Hundreds of thousands of poems, as well as short stories, biographies, and essays. Topics include the poetic forms, movements, and techniques.

Try This Family Fun Cardio Workout!

Have a Blast With This Family Fun Cardio Workout!

Contact the Whole Child Team

Janelle Buchler: Whole Child Consultant (

Eric Swihart: Whole Child Coordinator (

Caitlin Williams: Attendance and Homeless Program Coordinator (

Rebecca Hurst: Behavior Health Project Coordinator (

Kelsea Jabkiewicz: Data Integration and Medicaid Cost Recovery Coordinator (

Angela Maddox: Whole Child Secretary (