Newsletter – October 2020

October 2020 School Counselor Newsletter

Dear St. John Families,

Happy October! We’ve made it through a month of distance learning. Hats off to you families! Now that we’re settled into the year, I am so excited to begin my Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) groups.

SEL groups are one of my key interventions to support students who need extra help with a particular social or emotional skill (e.g., emotional regulation, anxiety, coping skills, friendship, etc.) Groups are formed with 3-5 same-grade peers and meet for 30-minutes a week during the school day for 6-8 consecutive weeks. If you believe that your child needs some additional social or emotional support and would like them to be considered for a group, email me your child’s name, grade, and briefly describe in which areas they need this additional support. The deadline to refer your child for fall groups is Friday, October 9th.

Please note: I cannot guarantee a space this fall for every student who is referred to my groups. However, I will try my best to get your child into a group rotation at some point during this school year. In the coming weeks, I will work with teachers and parents to determine who will be in the first round of groups, prioritizing students who need immediate support.

In addition to my SEL groups, I continue to offer the following supports for all of our students:

      • Google Classroom (K-5th Grade): October’s theme in my classroom is “Identifying Our Feelings”. Learning the skills to identify our feelings is the first step to developing emotional regulation. All of the lessons and activities this month help students develop the skills to understand how they’re feeling. We will build on this foundation next month by focusing on coping skills we can use to calm down when we’re experiencing uncomfortable feelings.
          • Note, if your child is not in my classroom and you would like for them to be added, contact myself or your child’s teacher to enroll. Alternatively, you can click here and enter the appropriate code for your student:
              • Primary (grades K-2) class code: zvozb7
              • Intermediate (grades 3-5) class code: p4aopi5
      • Virtual Calming Room (Middle School): Students are invited to check out my Virtual Calming Room. This site has many resources to support positive mental health, including: guided meditations and breathing videos, journaling prompts, healthy coping skills activities, yoga videos, and more.
      • 1-on-1 Counseling (All students): I’m available to work with students as requested on a goal-oriented, short-term basis. Please email me to arrange this service.

Finally, with primary students having the option to return to in-person instruction, some of our students will soon be learning all of the new school safety protocols including mask wearing and social distancing. To help prepare for this, I have recorded lessons for students to view to learn about why we wear masks, how to do so effectively, and how to tell how others are feeling when they’re wearing masks. You can find these lessons on my website by scrolling down to the COVID-19 related lessons.


Ms. Shaw

October Resources

  • On October 13th, ParentMap is hosting a free webinar and Q&A with author and sociologist, Dr. Christine Carter called Safer, Smarter Strategies to Help Teens Cope During COVID-19 Closures. The event will cover how to provide stability and comfort during this uncertain time, how to notice and respond to how kids are doing emotionally, and ways to support teens as they grieve their losses.
  • Now that we’re a month into school, the honeymoon period might be wearing off and you may be seeing some post-Zoom, end-of-day meltdowns setting in. This is normal and to be expected! The school day is exhausting for kids and it takes time to re-adjust to the demands school. Check out author, Katie Hurley’s great tips on How To Cope with After-School Meltdowns.
  • Due to distance learning, parents and caregivers are having to teach and give feedback to children more than ever before. If you’re struggling with how to give feedback to your child or noticing that your student is less than receptive to your feedback, check out these 7 Tips to Give Effective Feedback to Your Child.
  • Looking for ways to help your child de-stress and learn skills to cope with stress and anxiety? Check out these mindfulness and yoga classes offered after school via Zoom for children ages 6-11 and tweens and teens ages 12-18. Classes begin this week and registration is still open!