SEL becomes a even higher priority post-pandemic
We cannot ignore that students will return to us (whatever that may look like in the Fall) with increased trauma. This trauma needs to be recognized and prioritized. All staff, not just our highly qualified mental health team staff, needs to be trained and educated in trauma-informed practices. It will become critical that we understand that appropriate behaviors and coping skills can be taught, reinforced and modeled for our students of all ages.
What IS working? Websites like these: http://www.ycusd.org/YCUSD-Comprehensive-School-Counseling/index.html with planned lessons, engaging activities, and links accessible for all students and families. Having SEL as a priority, even during distance learning, shows the clear value that we place on mental wellness. Counselors with google voice numbers to text students, social workers who call families and ask about general needs, food services that make deliveries to our most at-risk populations of homeless students, and reaching students where they are: that is working. We must continue to adapt, evolve, create and mentor. Distance learning will not go away- we need to make sure that ALL of our families have access and equity.