EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) This school year will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes… And that can be challenging for students mentally and emotionally.
As we approach the start of the school year, many school officials are concerned for the mental health of their students and staff. We spoke to the officials at East Stroudsburg Area School District about what students and teachers can do to prepare.
Erin Dreisbach, coordinator for social services 6-12, says,
“One of the biggest things that we want to do for students is make sure that they feel safe in their class rooms and in the schools. They feel heard and that they also feel connected, to not only to their peers but also their teachers.
After months of uncertainty and time at home, students starting a new school year could feel a great deal of anxiety or even be battling trauma.
The East Stroudsburg Area School district takes their students’ and staff’s mental health very seriously with their “trauma informed” school plan.
Dreisbach says, “Make sure that they recognize the signs, the symptoms, and also just being aware of how we respond to trauma to make sure that we do not re-traumatize some of our students.”
But to be able to help students, all teachers need to take care of themselves mentally too.
Shae Jones, coordinator for social services k-5, exclaims, “We did implement having a self care health plan. So our teachers are needing that and having that and utilizing those types of things that they have written down for self care.”
They will be using a hybrid model for going back to school. This means students will have in-person learning 2 days a week.
There will be sensory objects in the classrooms for students to use to relieve stress.
On days students are learning from home, they can contact a counselor online.
They’ll have increased access to their school counselors through both google meets and hangouts as well as in person.