Newsletter – April 2020

April 2020 School Counselor Newsletter

Dear St. John Families,

Here we are in our fourth week of distance learning. The world is a different place than when we began this extraordinary feat. As your family processes and grieves these unexpected changes to the school year, I want to remind you that I am here for you as a resource and support.

I continue to update my website with tools and resources. I have lists of fun ideas and projectsonline resources and appsonline books, and ideas for brain breaks. I also have resources from experts that provide guidance on talking to your child about COVID-19 and addressing their questions and worries.

In addition to these resources, I am doing the following weekly activities for students:

  • Primary – I am recording read alouds with mini-counseling lessons that help students process their feelings. Videos are 15 minutes or less and include simple art projects, puppets, mindful moments, and breathing techniques
  • Intermediate – I am beginning a new program called “Stempathy,” which combines STEM and empathy. Stempathy requires the innovator to first listen and emphasize with a person’s problem, and then build a solution for them. This is a fun activity to do with whatever materials you have at home. You can learn more here. Note that the page is password protected. To enter, type “bekind” (our school theme with no spaces and all lowercase)
  • Middle School – Along with Ms. Tsagalakis, our PE teacher, we are hosting a weekly 30 minute “Virtual Recess” on Fridays. Students play games, chat, and catch up with one another. It’s a fun and informal way for them to connect with friends. RSVP here: 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade

Finally, I am always so happy to speak with families and/or their student to help support their mental health and well-being. Contact me via email at cshaw@st-johnschool.org 

Stay healthy and hopeful!

Ms. Shaw

Resources I’m Highlighting this Month

  • The Child Mind Institute published a great article providing strategies for how to avoid passing our own anxieties on to children
  • Headspace is a great mindfulness app. During uncertain and stressful times, mindfulness is an especially useful tool. Headspace is currently offering free mindfulness tools, called Weathering the Storm. You can also find more mindfulness resources on my site here
  • The Imagine Neighborhood podcast is a great new podcast for children and their families that talks about feelings. They are continually adding podcasts that are relevant to what’s happening in our world!
  • I have created a list of 30 things students can do to practice emotional health