News & Events

COVID Educational Messaging for Schools

 

Explaining COVID-19 and protective measures to young children.

  1. COV-Ed 4 Kids - YouTube
  2. All about Coronavirus: A Video for Kids and Their Families | Michigan Public Health - YouTube

 

MASK WEARING

 

  • The mask is a physical barrier against COVID-19. When you wear a mask correctly, it stops many of the respiratory droplets that are naturally released from a person’s mouth and nose from going into the air. The mask may also stop droplets that are already in the air from entering your mouth or nose. Masks must cover both the mouth and the nose to be effective. (7.2)

     

  • A mask protects against COVID-19 virus that spreads from person to person through the air and respiratory droplets that naturally come out of a person’s nose and mouth. We sometimes see the droplets when we talk, sneeze or cough but there are millions more droplets that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Those can float in the air we share. A mask that’s worn over the nose and mouth stops droplets from being inhaled and making us sick. (7.6)

     

  • A mask that covers a person’s mouth and the nose is best to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. It catches respiratory droplets that naturally come out when breathing and talking. This stops the droplets from going into the air that is shared with other people. A mask may also stop droplets that are in the air from being inhaled through the nose or mouth. (5.8)

     

  • We share the air with the people around us. The COVID-19 virus can be spread by a person who has COVID but doesn’t know it because they don’t have symptoms. Wearing a mask over your mouth and nose helps reduce the spread of COVID by catching the droplets that carry the virus. (7.8)

 

MASK VIDEOS AND VISUALS

 

  1. Mask 101 with Kris Ehresmann - YouTube (3m36s) – good for everyone
  2. Why Masks Work BETTER Than You'd Think - YouTube (7m9s) – good for everyone, fast pace
  3. How Well Do Masks Work? (Schlieren Imaging In Slow Motion!) - YouTube (8m20s) – best suited to high schoolers and parents (there are references to condoms and intercourse @ 6m34s)
  4. Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Wearing a Mask Helps Protect Against Infection (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth (1m17s) – appropriate for elementary school students
  5. The Multiplicative Power of Masks (aatishb.com) – interactive website mentioned in video #2.

 

Q: Why do young children have to wear masks if the data shows not very many get sick from the virus?

A: All children, including very young children, can develop COVID-19. Many of them don’t appear sick (source) so their parents and caregivers may not realize they have COVID. The virus can be spread even if the child does not show any symptoms. Helping young children to wear a mask over their nose and mouth helps reduce the spread of COVID by catching the liquid droplets in the air that carry the virus. (8.0)

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING Q&A

 

Q: WHY are we asked to social distance?

A: A person who hasn’t had COVID yet is almost certain to get it if they spend time with a person who is infected. People can be infected with COVID even though they don’t feel sick or have symptoms. Social distancing is about reducing our chance of coming into contact with people who may be infected with COVID. It’s not practical to think people will stay home 100% of the time, so the idea is to only go places that are essential and not stay longer than necessary. Places like school, work, the grocery store, or the doctor’s office (to name only a few). Limiting the time we spend in those places, wearing a mask, and staying six feet apart lowers the chances of being exposed to COVID. (9.3)

 

Q: WHY do we have to stay 6 feet apart?

A: The space allows most of the droplets that might be carrying COVID-19 (and other viruses like the flu) to fall to the ground.  Respiratory viruses, like COVID are spread through small drops of liquid that come out of a person’s nose or mouth when they talk, sing, cough, or sneeze. Research shows that some droplets hang out in the air and travel more than 6 feet but the majority fall to the ground within that space. Keeping six feet apart from other people helps stop the spread of the virus. (8.7)

 

A: Small drops of liquid come out of our mouths when we talk, sing, cough, and sneeze. These droplets hang out in the air. While almost all the droplets fall out to the ground within six feet, some of the very tiny ones can remain in the air beyond six feet. This is especially true when they come out more forcefully – like with a particularly strong sneeze. By keeping a 6-foot distance between you and other people, you lower the chance of getting or spreading COVID because most of the virus droplets fall to the ground with nowhere to go. (7.9)

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING VIDEOS

 

  1. Why Social Distancing Works | COVID safety training - YouTube
  2. COV-Ed: The Importance of Physical Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic. - YouTube
  3. Social Distancing Explained - YouTube
  4. Mask 101: Masks and Social Distancing - YouTube

 

COVID TESTING (MIX Q&A/BULLETS)

 

Q: Other people in my house have COVID. I’m starting to show symptoms. WHY should I get a COVID test? Can’t I just follow isolation orders and be done with it?

A: If others in your house are positive for COVID, and you’re starting to feel sick, please get tested. You may be tempted to skip a COVID test but don’t. Tests are free, quick and easy, and you can make an appointment at lhi.care/covidtesting. Getting tested will confirm for sure if your symptoms are due to the COVID virus and help you know the best actions to take. For example, notifying people you’ve been in close contact with so they can start to track their symptoms and get tested. If your test results come back positive you should also avoid spending time with people who are at higher risk for getting COVID, like grandparents or other family members who may have chronic health conditions that would make COVID worse. A positive test result is also useful if your symptoms worsen and you seek medical care. Plus, your school or job may need test results, so you won’t have to quarantine if you’re identified as a close contact of someone else after coming back. (7.6)

 

Myth: I have symptoms and someone in my household has COVID. I know I have it, so I’m just going to stay home. There’s no reason for me to get tested.

Fact: Having a positive test can benefit you and the people around you. A positive COVID result will help you be more confident in your decision to self-isolate and avoid contact with other people. It will also be useful when you start telling anyone who was a close contact during your infectious period that they may be been exposed and should self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms. A positive test result will also help prevent you from needing to be quarantined in the near future. For example, if you test positive and you are identified as a close contact of a positive case within 90 days of your positive test, you do not need to be quarantined. However, if Public Health does not have a confirmed positive test on file for you, we can’t exclude you from quarantine, even though it’s likely you had COVID. Tests are free, quick and easy, and you can make an appointment at lhi.care/covidtesting. (9.3)

 

COVID TESTING - SCHOOL SPECIFIC

Q: My child is showing symptoms of COVID and others in our house have already tested positive. Why is the school asking me to get my child tested?

A: If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 and others in your house have tested positive you may be tempted to skip a COVID test. Please don’t. We need the test results to begin notifying your child’s classmates and staff who were close contacts. We can’t begin that process if your child’s status isn’t confirmed by a test. Plus, a positive test result means that, after your child returns to school, they will be able to keep coming to school even if they are identified as a close contact of another student or staff member in the future (within 90 days of the positive test). If we don’t have test results, we can’t confirm your child’s COVID status and they will be required to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact after they return to school. Tests are free, quick and easy, and you can make an appointment at lhi.care/covidtesting. If your child tests positive for COVID please call us at 530-335-2279 ASAP. (8.3)

 

  • Think your child has COVID because they are sick and others in your house have had it? Please keep them home and get them tested. Tests are free, quick and easy, and you can make an appointment at lhi.care/covidtesting. When you know for sure that your child has COVID. Not only will you know for sure whether your child has COVID, but we need the results to begin notifying people who were in close contact with them. And, after returning to school, if your child is identified as a close contact within 90 days of their positive test, they will be able to keep coming to school (and not have to quarantine). If your child tests positive for COVID please call us at 530-335-2279 ASAP. (7.1)

 

  • Has your child been diagnosed with COVID? Call us at 530-335-2279 ASAP! When it comes to students, school staff are the ones who figure out which of their classmates and teachers were close contacts. We notify those people as soon as we can. The quicker we can start those calls the faster we can slow the spread. (4.1)

     

  • We’re hearing from some parents that their child is sick, but their doctor said not to get a COVID test because other people in the house tested positive for COVID. Please get your child tested. Tests are free, quick and easy, and you can make an appointment at lhi.care/covidtesting. We need positive test results to begin notifying people who were in close contact with your child that they need to quarantine. Plus, after your child returns to school, a positive test result means they may be able to keep coming to school even if they are later identified as a close contact. Students and staff who are identified as close contacts but can show they tested positive in the last 90 days do not need to quarantine. If your child tests positive for COVID please call us at 530-335-2279 ASAP. (9.1)

     

  • Schools need test results! To keep students safe, we need to know when your child has COVID. Your doctor may say a test is not needed because your child is showing symptoms and others in the house have already tested positive. That may be true from a medical perspective, but when it comes to the school setting – we need those tests! If your child tests positive for COVID please call us at 530-335-2279 ASAP. We need to know it’s truly COVID in order to begin notifying close contacts who will need to quarantine. We also need the results so that after your child returns to school, they can keep coming to school, even they’ve been identified as a close contact of someone within 90 days of their positive test result. Tests are free, quick and easy, and you can make an appointment at lhi.care/covidtesting. (8.0)

 

Myth: My child has symptoms and someone in my household has COVID. I know s/he has it, so there’s no reason for me to get my child tested.
Fact: Only a COVID test can verify that your child actually has COVID. Test results are important if your child’s symptoms worsen and they need medical care. Positive test results are also needed to begin efforts to notify close contacts in their school setting (if they were in the classroom). Additionally, a positive test result may prevent your child from needing to be quarantined in the near future. For example, if your child tests positive, returns to school and is identified as a close contact of a positive case at school within 90 days of their positive test, they will not need to quarantine. Without a confirmed positive test, we can’t exclude your child from quarantining, even though it’s likely they had COVID. Tests are free, quick and easy, and you can make an appointment at
lhi.care/covidtesting. (9.1)

 

questions about this document? please contact jennifer snider jsnider@co.shasta.ca.us 530-561-1455



Pandemic EBT Frequently Asked Questions


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

The California Department of Education (CDE) and Department of Social Services (CDSS) are partnering on the administration of Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) in California.

P-EBT will provide up to $365 to needy children eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Meals (FRPM) through the National School Lunch (NSLP) or School Breakfast Programs (SBP). Children who are directly certified for FRPM will automatically be mailed a P-EBT card through an automated data matching process between the CDE and CDSS. These P-EBT cards will arrive in the mailboxes of eligible families between May 12 and May 22.

Children who are FRPM eligible through the meal application process will be able to apply for P-EBT online beginning May 22. The application will be available on the Apply for P-EBT websiteExternal link opens in new window or tab. and will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Eligibility of those children who apply online will be confirmed by the CDE and CDSS using data from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).

Outreach

The CDE and CDSS have developed P-EBT outreach materials that are available for download from the CDSS Pandemic EBT web pageOutreach materials include an outreach toolkit, informational flyers for families, frequently asked questions documents, sample social media content and additional resources for partner agencies.

Subject: Talk therapy/Dr. Masters available to students/families

Hello Students, Parents and Guardians. We wanted to reach out to let you know that the talk therapy that was previously being offered via video at the school sites is now being offered on site at Mayers Memorial Hospital District. We realize that you may want these FREE services for your students in this stressful time so we’re pleased that Dr. Masters is still available for appointments, just not on school grounds. If you or your student are interested in using this service please call Amanda Harris at Mayers Memorial Hospital at (530)336-7548 to set up a time. Thank you.

 

FRJUSD Psychologist Update 4/20/2020

Greetings  Students, Parents, Staff and Fellow Intermountain Community Members.  With schools closed, kids at home, the loss of many jobs, fears for our health and the health of those around us, and concerns over growing economic and geopolitical uncertainty, many of us are looking for strategies to cope. The strategies we elect to use will have lasting impacts on our mental health once this crisis is over.  I’ve attached a list of resources with some great information on promoting good mental health during this crisis and I encourage you to check them out. I’ve take a moment to outline my top suggestions:

Routine – Having a routine and keeping to a schedule will help to reduce stress. Humans are goal-oriented animals and we thrive on getting things done. It is important to try to recreate some of the routine children have at school to the extent possible. This means starting the day at the same time and having set school work periods. It’s unrealistic to expect children to work for hours undistracted. Starting at the same time after breakfast, plan school work in 20-40 minute blocks with a break and small treat as a reward at the end of the period.  As a parent, about 2 hours before bed, make a list of the tasks you would like accomplish the next day.  Wake up at the same time each day and plan your day with a mindset to get those tasks done.  Both students and parents should avoid binge watching DVDs or Netflix or playing more than 45 minutes of video games at one time.  Having a multiday or multi-week project (especially a family project) can create an aim and help create structure by being broken down into daily tasks and waypoints. Preparing a garden can be a great activity that incorporates exercise, sunlight, routine and healthy eating.

Moderate exercise and sunlight –both improve mood and help body produce hormones and other nutrients needed for health. Recent data from the Department of Homeland Security also suggests the virus has a shorter half-life outside in sunlight. We’re truly fortunate to live somewhere with enough space where we can get outside for exercise while still following social distancing rules (often while simultaneously gazing at ancient volcanoes).

Eating healthy and sleeping – Now is a great time to be sure to include lots of green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit and other veggies in your diet. Lots of people stress-eat in times like these. In fact, retailers nationwide are reporting increased sales of junk foods (Ben and Jerry are the two wealthiest therapists in the business). While the occasional bite of chocolate or bag of chips is okay to provide comfort, ensure that your diet is built upon a solid foundation of fresh foods and save the Oreos for small treats.  Milk can be an important source of vitamin D for kids and has been provided in the school meals which are sent home. Sleep is an early casualty of a disrupted routine. A recent poll indicated 75% of Americans are reporting sleep disturbances as a result of the current pandemic. Children typically need 8-10 hours of sleep per night optimally. Lack of sleep can accentuate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Avoid napping during the day if you’re having difficulty falling asleep at night. Practicing good sleep hygiene can also help (dark and quiet is best) as well as unplugging from the news in the evenings to reduce stress and stopping screen use 2 hours before bed to reduce the amount of blue light effecting you.

Keep in Touch – Staying connected to those you normally talk to is important in maintaining a sense of wellbeing. This can also be a good time to re-connect with others you may have lost contact with.            

Practice Self-Care – Try to plan a few things you really enjoy to spread out through the day. This can also be a great time to start practicing meditation or mindfulness to deal with stress. Some links are included at the bottom of this message. There are some great apps available if you search “mindfulness” on the Apple Itunes or Google Play Stores. There will also be a period of grieving for some. After a reasonable period or grief, we must reframe our loss and re-dedicate ourselves to future goals. This too will pass.

Remember, the format has changed but your school is still there for you. The district is offering free counseling for students through our telemed services in conjunction with Mayers Memorial Hospital. Your site principals can provide more information on accessing those services. You are also encouraged to contact me or your student’s principal with any concerns you may have about the safety of your child during this time. I am available to answer any mental health related questions and can be contacted at bbeyer@frjusd.org  

“Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.” -E.B. White

Yours Truly,

Brent C. Beyer, School District Psychologist

 

Resources:

 

American Psychological Association’s Coping with COVID-19-related

Stress as a Student ( https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/student-stress.pdf )

 

National Association of School Psychologists: Talking with Children about Corona Virus   https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1SWWWNcJwfUY0jILk-xLNbDZwkNx30mK7TPqFPPKK3nI/edit?usp=sharing

 

Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (SAMHSA) https://casponline.org/pdfs/publications/covid/SAMHSA%20Coping%20with%20Stress%20During%20Infectious%20Disease%20Outbreaks.pdf

VIDEO: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoNeZkSuviQ

 

30 Virtual Field Trips for Kids

https://theeducatorsspinonit.com/virtual-field-trips-for-kids/?fbclid=IwAR0HqhNEoXiRi2_aGsY9dzItm54JK5XrKMPVrVUKKZrRrejwedck3KXyh8o

 

Mindfulness for Kids

https://www.mindfulschools.org/free-online-mindfulness-class-for-kids/

 

Calm Yeti Mindfulness

https://www.wix.mindyeti.com/?fbclid=IwAR2NW7E1pCONDXLlqMf2d3oZsb-suGG-qX6iRmoRaBsA1rgfIMtSh3bkgGM

 

Anxiety: Helping Handout for School and Home

https://www.nasponline.org/x55101.xml

 

Depression: Helping Handout for Home

https://www.nasponline.org/x55105.xml

 

Sleep Problems: Helping Handout for Home

https://www.nasponline.org/x55108.xml

 

Suicidal Thinking and Threats: Helping Handout for Home

https://www.nasponline.org/x55107.xml4

 

Covid ClosureSnow Day Late StartSupporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma: Tips for Parents and Educators

Unfortunately, children are impacted by trauma in a myriad of ways and these experiences are significant risk factors for poor health, academic failure, and ultimately, a poor quality of life. Beginning in 1995, the Adverse Childhood Experience Study examined the prevalence of childhood trauma and its impact by tracking more than 17,000 children. This study has provided invaluable although discouraging insight into the prevalence of trauma in children's lives. The most common traumas experienced by children and their prevalence are: physical abuse (28%), reside in households with substance abuse (27%), emotional neglect (25%), parental separation or divorce (24%), sexual abuse (21%), family member with mental illness (20%), and witness of domestic violence (13%). At least two-thirds of participants in the Adverse Childhood Experience Study reported at least one of these experiences, and 20% reported three or more. The greater number and intensity of trauma experiences a child has, the more severe the associated impact on development. Schools have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help these children recover from trauma and develop the skills necessary to experience academic and social success. This begins with educating school personnel on trauma and effective interventions.

Trauma Risk Factors. Certain individual and contextual characteristics are associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing trauma, such as:

  • Proximity to a traumatic event
  • Past exposure to trauma
  • Current or past mental health problems or the presence of a disability
  • Parental substance abuse or mental illness
  • Limited social support or isolation
  • Family stress
  • Loss or fear of the loss of a loved one
  • Community characteristics
  • Developmental level
  • Poverty level

Children are particularly vulnerable to a traumatic event when:

  • They are not living with their families, have witnessed family violence, have a family history of mental illness, and/or have witnessed adults being severely distressed by the event
  • They possess a mental health problem prior to the traumatic event
  • They lack support from friends or family
  • They have been exposed to previous traumatic events

Warning Signs. If any of the following symptoms do not decrease over time, if they severely impact the child's ability to participate in normal activities, or if significant changes are noted, a referral to a mental health professional may be necessary.

  • Disruption or withdrawal from peer relationships
  • General lack of energy or lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Strained family relationships (increased misbehavior, lashing out against family members, refusal to participate in normal family routines)
  • Decline in school performance, school avoidance, or difficulty concentrating
  • Physical complaints with no apparent cause
  • Maladaptive coping (drug or alcohol use, severe aggression)
  • Threats of harm to self or others
  • Repeated nightmares and reporting strong fears of death and violence
  • Repetitive play reenacting the traumatic events
  • Sleeping (difficulty falling or staying asleep) and eating disturbances
  • Increased arousal (easily startling or quick to anger), agitation, irritability, aggressiveness
  • Regression in behavior (thumb-sucking, bedwetting, clinginess, fear of the dark)

 

Trauma's potential impact on education:

  • Delays in all domains of development
  • Higher drop-out rates
  • Lower academic achievement (reduced ability to organize, problem-solve and process information)
  • Higher suspension and expulsion rates
  • Higher rates of referral for special education
  • Emotional responses or symptoms of trauma can negatively impact concentration and memory

What to do: Adults can help reestablish security and stability for these children in a number of ways.

  • Recognize and be sensitive to the fact that problem behaviors can be the manifestation of trauma-related anxiety
  • Help children manage their feelings by teaching and modeling effective coping strategies
  • Answer children's questions related to the traumatic event(s) in honest, developmentally appropriate language and terms
  • Create clear and concrete safety plans with the child
  • Engage them in activities that stimulate the mind and body
  • Expand their "feelings" vocabulary so they can more easily express themselves
  • Promote family activities to bring them closer to the ones they love 
    • Maintain usual routines
  • Watch for changes in behaviors
  • Allow children to tell the story of the trauma they experienced, as they see it, so they can begin to release their emotions and make sense of what happened
  • Respond calmly and compassionately, but without displaying shock or judgment
    • Reassure children that the adults in their life are working to keep them safe
    • Set boundaries and limits with consistency and patience
  • Remind them repeatedly how much you care for them
  • Give them choices to regain a sense of control
  • Encourage and support them
  • Anticipate challenging times or situations that may be reminders of the event and provide additional support
  • Provide children who are acting out with opportunities to redirect their energy in a helpful way such as giving them additional responsibilities or leadership roles

What school-based professionals can do:

  • Follow your school's reporting procedures if there is suspected abuse
  • If the child is not eligible for special education, consider making individualized modifications to academic work until the trauma has been sufficiently addressed (might consider including these in a 504 plan). You could:
    • Modify or shorten assignments
    • Offer individual tutoring or support
    • Give extended time
    • Allow the child to leave class to go see a school-based mental health professional if the child is struggling emotionally
    • Assist the child with organizing and remembering assignments
    • Try to engage caretakers in providing academic support at home
    • Explore with the child if there is something that provides comfort such as a memento or item from a loved one that can be brought to school
    • Help the child identify effective soothing techniques such as drawing, deep breathing, exercising that can be utilized in school to manage emotions

The Role of School-based Professionals in Dealing with Trauma

Children spend a significant portion of their childhood in school under the care and guidance of school personnel. As such, schools have a responsibility to help children feel supported and safe. Effective trauma prevention and interventions need to be closely connected to supportive mental health services. The school climate needs to balance student behavioral expectations with compassionate and trustful student/adult relationships. It is critical for every school staff member to be aware of the warning signs of serious emotional trauma and to respond to these children with thoughtful responses guided by an understanding of how trauma impacts children. Because many communities have high levels of trauma, entire school systems should be knowledgeable about the potential impacts of trauma and ensure that school is an environment where students feel safe disclosing traumatic experiences.

Resiliency Factors

The presence of resiliency factors can decrease or eliminate the impact that trauma can have on children. These include:

  • The reliable presence of a positive, caring, and protective parent/caregiver who can help protect their children against adverse experiences
  • Children knowing that they are loved, supported, and cared for by multiple adults such as family members, teachers, and other adults
  • Professional support for the child/family
  • Peer support and positive social relationships
  • Effective coping skills
  • The ability to express themselves and seek support when needed
  • Problem-solving skills
  • High self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Connections with prosocial institutions
  • Internal locus of control
  • Involvement with a faith or belief system

Suggested Resources


Recommended Citation: NASP School Safety and Crisis Response Committee. (2015). Supporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma - Tips for Parents and Educators. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Contributors: Amanda Nickerson, PhD, NCSP; Shane R. Jimerson, PhD, NCSP

© 2015, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 657-0270, Fax (301) 657-0275; www.nasponline.org

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