#SEHealthChat – COVID-19 & Back-to-School: Recap & Top Takeaways
This post recaps the second Twitter chat in our ongoing #SEHealthChat series. Click here to revisit the highlights from the August 2019 chat.
On August 6, Healthier Generation teamed up with Sanford Harmony and Kaiser Permanente to co-host a Twitter chat: “COVID-19 & Back-to-School: A Social-Emotional Health Twitter Chat.” During the chat, participants discussed the unique challenges and opportunities facing educators, students, and families as they head back-to-school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we explored ways to equitably meet the health needs of the whole child—whether kids are learning at school, at home, or a combination of both—and the ways educators and families can support one another’s social-emotional well-being during this time.
What did we learn about our collective needs and priorities as we head into this new school year? Chat participants echoed three common themes throughout our conversation: communication, collaboration, and empathy.
Check out the highlights below for some top takeaways from the chat. You can view every tweet from the chat by searching #SEHealthChat on Twitter.
Question 1: For many, the back-to-school season looks and feels very different this year. How might these changes affect student’s social-emotional health and well-being? #SEHealthChat
A1: Students may be separated from friends & teachers. Some have experienced trauma & inequity. An awareness of contrasting experiences will be essential to helping all students learn. Access our recent panel webinar on demand for insights: https://t.co/KsfQfNeeM3. #SEHealthChat https://t.co/fgmZTs0PVN— Sanford Harmony (@SanfordHarmony) August 6, 2020
A1: students may be grieving all kinds of things. From exciting milestones (that 5th grade DC trip!) to loss of stable housing or even the death of a family or friend. Grief will be present for many students, families and school staff. #SEHealthChat https://t.co/v18Ay6VODc— Laurie Stradley (@Laurie_Stradley) August 6, 2020
A1. Including children in back-to-school conversations offers an opportunity to check in about how they are feeling, and might bring up a need to strengthen emotional safety. It can also help provide a sense of understanding and control. #SEHealthChathttps://t.co/tSW7X9u6YC— Rudd Center (@UConnRuddCenter) August 6, 2020
Question 2: Supporting the health of the #WholeChild is critical, no matter where learning takes place--—at school, at home, or a combination of both. How can educators and families work together to support students’ comprehensive health needs? #SEHealthChat
A2: Consistent communication with families is always important. To enhance that during this time, educators can provide contact information for outside services that families can utilize (phone #, insurance coverage). We can lift the tedious burden of searching! #SEHealthChat— Danielle (@missdamone) August 6, 2020
A2: Building trust between schools and families is key. We will need to leverage communication methods that ensure equity and health are a priority #SEHealthChat— Jonathan Wallace (@JonMattWall) August 6, 2020
A2: Educators and families can work together to find a set time in the daily schedule to practice calming strategies such as meditation, yoga, or other forms of physical activity that help regulate the body's emotions. #SEHealthChat https://t.co/27KHmnH9Ev— thrivingschools (@thrivingschools) August 6, 2020
A2: Meaningful collaboration is more important now than ever. Establish trust b/t schools & families by: engaging in clear & consistent dialogue, being open to feedback, & demonstrating vulnerability & honesty in what you know, what you don't know & what you need. #SEHealthChat https://t.co/yutBYJjUlO— Elizabeth Cook (@ecook_SEH) August 6, 2020
Question 3: Connectedness supports students’ learning. How can we ensure students stay connected with peers and teachers in virtual learning settings? #SEHealthChat
A3: Technology gaps can make this a challenge, but there are ways to build connections for all students. Some of our #SanfordTeacherAward winners share their tips, like phone meetups, pen pals, & virtual cooking classes on our blog here: https://t.co/R3iDCCoOLT. #SEHealthChat https://t.co/dnehTVNfNV— Sanford Harmony (@SanfordHarmony) August 6, 2020
A3: Build in time in your classes to connect - formally and informally! Create class routines that allow students to engage with each other. As educators, provide space for students to meet with you individually. Check out this blog for more: https://t.co/gA8X3pclI5 #SEHealthChat— Megan Gildin (@megangildin) August 6, 2020
A3: By incorporating time for physical activity (whether its for 10 seconds or 5 minutes), students and educators (and parents!) can bring a much needed sillyness and fun while getting a mental break - and also helps build connectedness. #SEHealthChat https://t.co/5uYrnS0Jt8— Springboard Schools (@Springboard2AS) August 6, 2020
Question 4: What are the biggest challenges facing educators, families, and/or members of your community right now? What supports do they need? #SEHealthChat
A4: Not all kids have access to yards, green spaces or driveways to play safely outside. Working with communities to create equitable, at-home play options right now can help every kid to still get the benefits of play they need to heal and recover. #SEHealthChat https://t.co/P30N01KMDO— KABOOM! (@kaboom) August 6, 2020
A4: Structural inequities & systemic racism are the biggest challenges--affecting school funding and resources to who is disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and school closures. Learn how local leaders & advocates can change this: https://t.co/XyFXWrs0mr #SEHealthChat https://t.co/D7Fd5GmOdk— ChangeLab Solutions (@ChangeLabWorks) August 6, 2020
A4: Results from our recent survey suggest that families & caregivers need extra support as #SchoolsReopen, including support in applying for #SchoolMeals and safety net programs & resources to help students readjust. Learn more: https://t.co/lKAVebJ2fP #SEHealthChat pic.twitter.com/hOTaMI0rfj— Healthier Generation (@HealthierGen) August 6, 2020
Question 5: Stress and uncertainty affect educators, parents, and caregivers, too. How can we collectively support adults’ social-emotional health and well-being during this time? #SEHealthChat
A5: #Selfcare is providing yourself grace to stop and start again, acknowledging this work is new and it involves flexibility, vulnerability with successful failures along the way #SEhealthchat https://t.co/ngjjwTwjnH— InclusionForAll (@SavannaFlakes) August 6, 2020
A5: LA’s BEST is elevating self care for our staff. It’s important that we help our staff take care of themselves so they can adequately take care of our students. Read about our trauma informed practices https://t.co/tszMisvBVC #SEHealthChat— LA's BEST (@LAsBEST) August 6, 2020
A5: As these young people shared in conversation with @pureedgeinc, students WANT their teachers to take care of their own mental health and well-being because that creates a calmer, better learning environment for kids. #SEHealthChat #HowLearningHappens https://t.co/L1On3IMo2u— America's Promise (@AmericasPromise) August 6, 2020
Q6: Last question: what are your favorite resources for supporting social-emotional health & #SEL among students, educators, or families? #SEHealthChat
A6: We love this report from the @TrevorProject, which discusses implications of #COVID19 on the mental health of LGBTQ youth along with ideas for how supportive adults can mitigate these risks. #SEHealthChathttps://t.co/ox5C1Dx45o #SEHealthChat https://t.co/N2s3RmfCth— FCYO - Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing (@THE_FCYO) August 6, 2020
A6: Schools and districts can learn how to better support the social-emotional health of their school community by joining our Resilience in School Environments initiative. https://t.co/cjuNyUs8lA #SEHealthChat https://t.co/FBp063Sekl— thrivingschools (@thrivingschools) August 6, 2020
A6: Together with 30+ nationally recognized and trusted #SchoolHealth organizations, @HealthierGen offers the latest guidance for prioritizing health when #SchoolsReopen—in-person or virtually—in a new playbook: https://t.co/5JfrxQSWcm #SEHealthChat pic.twitter.com/zBjeaRNyhm— Kathy Higgins (@KathyHigginsHG) August 6, 2020