Schools get guidance on helping students’ mental health

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FRANKFORT, Ky.(WTVQ) – One of the biggest issues schools may face when they reopen is recognizing and helping students with a social and emotional transition back to school.

The Kentucky Department of Education released new guidance Tuesday about how districts can support the social and emotional health of students, faculty and staff when schools reopen.

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The document – “COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools Supporting Student and Staff Wellness” – addresses planning considerations districts.

While the usual transitional concerns will be present when schools reopen, it is anticipated that this fall’s return to school will be particularly challenging due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Teachers and administrators should operate on the assumption that everyone will have experienced some degree of anxiety and stress, uncertainty, illness, grief and loss.

For some students, the experience of social distancing and being home during COVID-19 will have been traumatic.

Schools will likely see an increased number of learning, behavioral and emotional problems from more students. For those who already have emotional and behavioral challenges, these may be exacerbated.

“This extended period of closure has had a tremendous impact on every member of Kentucky’s education family,” said Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown. “It is our hope at the department that this guidance will help districts think through the challenges they may face this fall and be ready to provide the services Kentucky’s students will need to succeed and thrive in this challenging environment.”