Social and emotional support
Services throughout the 2020-21 school year
PSD is committed to the social and emotional health of students, families and staff, especially during these uncertain times.
Connections with students
PSD Special Service Professionals (SSP) - mental health specialists, counselors, social workers and psychologists - are focused on re-establishing a sense of safety, belonging, and connection for students this year. Teams are prepared to support students who are experiencing feelings of isolation, depression, uncertainty, disappointment, anxiety, and grief and loss.
Staff will continue serving and supporting students with disabilities.
SSPs will connect with previously-served students (at all levels) and offer support to best meet their needs. This works involves re-engagement with those students, their families and community partners who have supported them during the summer.
Mental health staff will continue to support students who are unsafe to themselves or others through a collaborative response with school staff, the student, their family and community providers to ensure the student's safety and connection to resources.
Supporting parents and guardians will continue to be a critical component of student success.
- Mental health professionals are available to help parents throughout the year in any phase of learning.
- If possible, educational opportunities for parents will be offered about the COVID impact on youth mental health issues, child and adolescent development, and trauma recovery.
Support during remote learning
Mental health professionals are incorporating best practices used last spring to remotely support the mental health needs of all students and families.
Mental health staff will reach out to students who did not engage in remote learning on a consistent basis last spring and support schools in facilitating effective remote learning opportunities for these students. This work includes identifying barriers to successful remote learning, assisting parents and guardians in identifying needed supports and helping them access any needed community supports.
Mental health staff will provide:
- Consistency in daily routines to reduce stress and promote positive learning conditions.
- Social and emotional learning programs and support to engage students and connect them to tools and resources for remote learning.
- Opportunities for students to share and process their emotions.
Additional outreach, trainings and collaboration
- Coordination with educators, principals and other staff to support student learning.
- Education for staff to enhance understanding of students’ and families’ mental health needs and additional challenges during remote learning.
- Trainings and support focused on connections and relationships with students, staff resiliency, and strengthening students’ sense of safety and affiliation within their school.
- Interventions for students focused on re-establishing peer relationships following remote learning.
- Continued outreach for students who face challenges with changing school models
- Virtual outreach to students who don't physically return to schools if they open.