VC Reopening Plan- Social Emotional Well-Being

Georgia Patchen (georgia.patchen@vcsdny.org) is our Assistant Director of Special Education and oversees the social and emotional aspects of our Reopening Plan. Valley Central is committed to prioritizing social-emotional well-being – not at the expense of academics, but in order to create the mental, social, and emotional space to access rigorous academic content with confidence.  The following supports will be provided to students, families, and staff by our school psychologist and our student assistance counselors.

Student Supports

Valley Central school psychologist and our student assistance counselors will:

Assist with the facilitation of classroom guidance on social distance practices in school.
Check-in with emotionally fragile students as they return to school to assess the level of functioning.  Conduct home visits as needed following social distance guidelines and the wearing of protective gear such as masks.
Provide individual counseling to students who express fears, loss, anxiety, and/or signs of depression by providing age-appropriate stress management and coping strategies. 

FOR SIGNS OF DEPRESSION, SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND/OR PRESENTING AS DANGER TO OTHERS, PLEASE CONDUCT RISK ASSESSMENT AND FOLLOW NORMAL SCHOOL YEAR PROTOCOLS.
Refer students to outside counseling as needed.  If a student attends private outpatient counseling, obtain consent to coordinate services with outpatient providers to support students and their families.  
Identify student needs for food and shelter.  Provide assistance through community resources and through Valley Central Programs (Backpack Snack Attack, Food Pantry). 
Family Supports

Valley Central school psychologist and our student assistance counselors will:

Provide information to families on District and Building Reopening Plans.
Assist families with fears about allowing their children to return to school. Share resources on signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression.  Assist with referrals to community agencies as needed.  
Make contact with identified families that require assistance with obtaining outpatient appointments for their children, food, shelter and clothing.
Conduct home visits following social distance guidelines and wearing protective gear such as masks.  

Staff Supports

Valley Central school psychologist and our student assistance counselors will:

Assist with facilitation of professional development on signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and lack of student motivation.
Assist with supporting re-adjustment period for new school schedule and social distance guidelines.  Provide assistance and guidance with classroom behaviors.
Visit classrooms to observe signs of stress and anxiety in the adults. Discuss concerns with administration. 

ADMINISTRATION SHOULD CONTACT HUMAN RESOURCES FOR REFERRAL TO EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AS NEEDED.
Additionally, all Valley Central employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers many free services including face-to-face and virtual counseling. Information about all social-emotional supports will be made widely available to the Valley Central community through our website.  We are committed to developing/making accessible family/caregiver-appropriate social and emotional learning (SEL) content to be used during all phases of our re-entry.