Weathering the Social and Emotional Impacts of Remote Learning

One thing parents and teachers agree on is the potential social and emotional impacts remote learning has had on students over the past several months. While not all students internalize issues the same way, socialization is important for a child’s healthy development. It is one of the key reasons school officials believed it was important to bring students back into the classroom as soon as it was safe to do so. Ms. Tipton, the Ahtanum Elementary school counselor, says over the past several months she’s been actively looking for opportunities to identify students in need of intervention and engaging them in socialization groups where students could hang out online and spend time with other students outside of the classroom. She says a behavioral health survey conducted at the beginning of last year gave her a baseline for which students to watch and engage with during remote learning. She also provided direct support for students falling behind in their classes or struggling because parents weren’t able to provide the support needed at home. She says most of the teachers were doing a wellness check with their students during their daily classes and could often tell when students weren’t doing well. They reached out to Tipton and asked for her support. Parents and students also reached out directly. Now Tipton says she began to set up groups for returning students to try and help acclimate them back into the classroom. She reminds parents that if their students are struggling with coming back to the classroom, or for those remaining in remote learning, support is available. Whether it’s one-on-one assistance, having the child join a group, or giving parents tools to help navigate the situation, Tipton suggests parents reach out to make sure their student has the support they need to succeed during these quickly changing times. (link - tiptonj@wvsd208.org)