Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming. The precautions that continue to be in place to slow the spread of the virus and the uncertainties these precautions may create can give rise to unexpected emotions in both children and adults.
Greenbrier County Schools (GCS) will prioritize efforts to address social-emotional learning and the mental health needs of students. Additionally, students, their families and school staff must feel their physical and mental health needs are being supported. Schools play a critical role in supporting the social emotional well-being of students, their families and school staff. County school districts must ensure all policies and procedures are culturally sensitive and ensure equity and access for all. GCS will continue and/or expand the following efforts:
• Crisis response planning team meeting to update and revise the West Virginia Schools Crisis Prevention and Response Plan through collaborative planning
• Access to professional student support staff, including school counselors, school psychologists and school nurses
• Continuous advisory system that provides students with meaningful supportive relationships and maximizes each student’s personalized learning experience
• Integrated delivery of social-emotional standards (West Virginia College and Career Readiness Dispositions and Standards for Student Success)
• Resource mapping to identify available resources and needs. This process should include an examination of existing school-based teams
• School mental health resource team focused on the physical, social-emotional, and mental health wellness of students, staff, and families. School counselors, school psychologists, 16 school nurses are trained to provide social-emotional and mental health supports to students
• Referral system for individuals who need targeted support as well as access to school employees and community mental health professionals
• Partnerships with community agencies to provide additional mental health services, as needed. The voices of educators who know their schools and students best are critical for creating effective plans for keeping students, educators, and communities safe
• Connect with at-risk students (those with previously identified mental health issues and/or those most affected by COVID-19).