Welcome Derby Families!
This past year and a half has handed us a lot of overwhelming twists and turns. With the additional needs of our children and our new world overwhelming and exhausting us—we felt like we couldn’t do it. Turns out we are made for this. We are made to adjust, bend, accept, tweak, and attack the problems in front of us and survive. We can do hard things.
There are techniques, and experts and a plethora of support we have access to for anxiety, stress, and coping. And it all starts with connection. The relationships we have with one another in our families and in our community. Thank you for being a part of our community and for being here for the 2021–2022 school year where we are Derby Strong; where we can do hard things.
Julie Browne, School Counselor
The Role of The School Counselor
For those of you I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, I am Julie Browne and I have the district privilege of being the Derby School Counselor which encompasses the following:
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
I lead this school-wide experience through research-based and Derby created SEL curricula. We cover topics such as inclusivity, growth mindset, worry, confidence, empathy, social media and leadership to name a few. We not only discuss such topics, we strive to weave them into our daily language and conversations.
I provide counseling support to individual children and in small groups. If at any time you believe something is impacting your child's school experience, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your child has, or is in the process of receiving, a neuropsychological evaluation and is in need of any learning support, I work closely with a team of learning specialists, teachers, and the Division Heads to determine how to best support each child. Please notify me directly at email@example.com if you would like to further discuss learning support.
Engage your students or children at home with meaningful projects by following Learning to Give’s Simple Safe Service guides!
We can’t control what has happened, but we can control how we respond to what is happening. Give yourself and everyone around you the permission to feel all emotions. It starts and ends with self and social compassion. Lean into SEL.
Christina Cipriano, Ph.D., Ed.M., Marc Brackett, Ph.D.
- Anxiety expert Lynn Lyons—podcast, articles, information and books
- Parenting Guidance with Dr. Becky
- Making Kindness the Norm—at school, home, and anywhere you go
- Meditation and Relaxation Guide for Kids
- Parenting a Child with ADHD
- Emotional Regulation
- Parenting Hotline in MA
- Flexible Thinking
- Screens—Social Media
- Social and Emotional Skills at Different Ages
- Books for Parents
- Growth Mindset—Resilience and Confidence
In the second week of home-schooling my own children I found the built-in opportunity to help develop Executive Functioning (EF) Skills. We were naturally working on them without even knowing it! EF skills include creating a schedule, goal setting, time management, prioritizing, note-taking, studying etc... You can have your child check-off items on the daily schedule once complete. Without rushing around to get out the door or run to the next scheduled activity here is time in our new situation to ask your child to clean up after each meal, turn off the lights after leaving each room, help with the chores around the house, clean out and organize a closet or room. Ask your child to summarize what they learned or share their notes with you. You can also play problem solving games (heads up, guess who).
For MS and US learners, please click here for Time Management Tips for On-line Learning
As we continue to talk with our children surrounding COVID-19:
- Be factual and correct misinformation
- Model calm and compassion
- Do not dismiss their concerns
- Focus on what we can do to keep ourselves healthy; hand washing, social distancing
- Be mindful of creating social connection through social media and phone calls
- Open Circle’s How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
- Parent Resource from NASP: Talking to Children about COVID-19
- American School Counselor Association’s Coronavirus Resources
- ChildMind’s Talking to Kids About The Coronavirus
Resources Regarding Anxiety
- Meditation Apps for Kids and Families
- Helping Kids Manage Anxiety Around the Coronavirus
- NYT's 5 Ways To Help Teens Manage Anxiety about the Coronavirus
- Meditation and Relaxation Guide for Kids
- Angst Management Tip Sheet
Emotional regulation, fine motor & gross motor ideas & games:
We may find our children struggling with emotional regulation and are likely in need of sensory support. The world of OT also supports fine and gross motor skills. Please review these fun tools as possible options:
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com/blog1/2020/03/18/ occupational-therapy- activities-at-home/
In addition to these resources, children respond well to:
- Laying or swinging on their bellies
- Outside breaks before sitting to work
- Practicing tying shoes, buttoning and zipping
- Writing with a clipboard
- Using different writing tool options (gel pens, markers, crayons, pencils, short golf pencils, pencil grips, chalk, white board, etc…)
- “Heavy” lifting; moving books around, helping you carry things
- Marching to a beat
- Stretching and yoga poses before sleep
- Use kid friendly tweezers to pick up small objects
- Use clothespins to clip onto the side of a cup
Each topic and conversation deserves it’s own time and our Counselor's Corner will share various supportive measures for specific topics. Here are also some useful links for children and parents regarding anxiety and mindfulness: