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District News

June 1, 2020

Here is an important message from Kristina Donovan, Supervisor of School Counseling:

Today is Mindful Monday. Normally I send a Wellness Wednesday message, but this is too important to wait.

The events that have resulted in the death of many Black Americans in our country is not a new story. The difference now is that we have cameras, video and unprecedented access to news and media. Black lives matter. It is not my right to speak for or on behalf of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community members, but it is my job to ensure there is a safe space for people to share their lived experiences. It is my job to listen.

We, the counseling department, see you and we hear you. Please, students that are reading this, parents, or loved ones – school counseling offices are safe spaces where you can privately share your experiences and you will be heard. Counselors are trained in facilitating these discussions and working toward greater degrees of systemic change.

In one of my earlier Wellness Wednesday presentations we discussed trauma informed parenting. This dovetails here as it is important to understand the three E’s of trauma. The event, the experience of the event, and the effect of the event. 

There are members of our community who are experiencing trauma. In working with trauma, it is then important as parents and educators to meet students with realization of the trauma, to recognize signs of trauma, to appropriately respond to the trauma and to avoid re-traumatizing.  As a school community we will be increasing our trauma informed practices which we hope will increase the wellness of our students.

The State of Ease is a way for students and families to access their personal space to find safety and calm. The guide is available here and in multiple languages: http://www.ptsdassociation.com/coping-strategies/2015/7/20/the-state-of-ease

Some additional articles and resources to help facilitate this dialogue:

https://www.chooseorg.org

https://educationpost.org/16-amazing-black-men-and-their-advice-for-young-students

http://dropoutprevention.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/rwjf-moving-toward-healing-TraumaandViolenceandBoysandYoungMenofColor-2016.pdf

Some skill building activities to help with trauma:

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/January-2019/7-Tools-for-Managing-Traumatic-Stress

We see you. We hear you. We are here for our school and our community.

Kristina Donovan, PhD
Supervisor of School Counseling K-12

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