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Back-to-School Guidance to Support Wellness

On July 14th, NH Governor Chris Sununu, issued New Hampshire Grades K-12 Back-to-School Guidance. Contained within the guidance are a list of "flexible" recommendations crafted by the School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce. To support NH educators, families, and students plan and prepare for the upcoming school year, below you will find resources, information, and templates to "Support Student, Family, and Educator Wellness".

On July 14th, NH Governor Chris Sununu, issued New Hampshire Grades K-12 Back-to-School Guidance. Contained within the guidance are a list of "flexible" recommendations crafted by the School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce.

To support NH educators, families, and students plan and prepare for the upcoming school year, below you will find resources, information, and templates to "Support Student, Family, and Educator Wellness".  Should you have a question, please reach out to any member of our team.

1. Understanding the Governor's Recommendations: Implications for student, educator, and family wellness

On July 14th, the Governor released his recommendations for returning to school in the fall. What are the recommendations and what are their implications for local communities?

  • ​View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the Presentation
  • Form a District/Community Leadership Team
  • Engagement Made Simple: Communicating using technology and social media
  • Tips for Communicating with Families during Remote Learning

2. Getting Comfortable in the Grey Area: What to do when you don’t know what to do

It has been a topsy, turvy few months. So many routines, structures, and behaviors have had to change. As we look into the future there are still many unanswered questions and points of confusion. It is important to understand how to care for yourself, your children, and your students in these challenging times.

  • View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the Presentation

3. Professional Development: Trauma-Responsive Instruction

When "instruction" is "trauma-responsive" it is delivered in a manner that is reflective of the 6 core principles of a trauma-informed approach: Safety, Trustworthiness and Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration and Mutuality, and Empowerment, Voice and Choice, Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues.

  • View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the presentation
  • ​Build Developmental  Relationships
  • ​Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic

4. Support Student, Family, and Educator Wellness: Social-Emotional Learning

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. During these challenging times, promoting SEL is more important than ever.

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  • Download the presentation
  • Provide Universal Wellness Supports

5. Professional Development: Social-Emotional Learning

In support of social and emotional learning, it is important that all adults - educators and caregivers- receive the "professional development", training, and support they need. Such support will increase effectiveness and result in more positive outcomes for students.

  • View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the presentation
  • ​Play Games
  • Create a Sense of Purpose
  • Create Skills through Work

6. Support Student, Family, and Educator Wellness: Mental Health Resource Partners

The mental health and wellness of students, families, and educators is always of concern. The COVID-19 global pandemic has presented additional challenges and barriers. Leveraging local resources and community partners is a great strategy for improving outcomes for ALL.

  • View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the presentation
  • Explore the Community Mental Health System
  • Template MOU between a NH school district and a Community Mental Health Center
  • Sample MOU between a NH school district and a Community Mental Health Center
  • Provide Tier 2 Services and Supports
  • Provide Tier 3 Services and Supports​
  • Order and Distribute Healthy Habits Handouts
  • Manage the Stress
  • Take Care of Yourself

7. Support Student, Family, and Educator Wellness: Diverse Learners and Students

Celebrating diversity and ensuring universal access to all instruction and supports whether within an in-person, virtual, or hybrid method of schooling is a crucial task for all school communities.

  • View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the presentation
  • ​All Together Now: All Together Now-New Hampshire (ATN-NH) is a two-year initiative funded through a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Education, Bureau of Student Support. Its primary goal is to develop a statewide sustainable model for serving students who are deaf or hard of hearing based upon the recommendations of The National Association of State Directors of Special Education’s (NASDSE) Optimizing Outcomes for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Educational Service Guidelines.
  • Accessibility for Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Whether it be for inclement weather, water main breaks or to prevent the spread of infectious disease, more and more schools are turning to online learning days so that education can continue uninterrupted. Although this is not an exhaustive list and additional accessibility considerations may need to be made based on individual needs, here are some general considerations to keep in mind while planning for online learning days in order to ensure access to content for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Considerations for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: There are many things to be mindful of to ensure Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing have consistent high quality access to remote learning.

8. Remote Learning Practices: Classroom Management

Classroom management during times of remote instruction can be particularly challenging. Teachers must engage students, ensure understanding, and manage interpersonal dynamics from a distance. When done well, outcomes during remote instruction increase dramatically.

  • View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the presentation
  • Introduction to Online Teaching: This is an overview for teachers who have never taught online before. The session covers best practices in facilitating learning through content structure, planning and interaction. Anxiety, stress and confusion inhibit the learning process, so it is essential to design a safe and secure remote learning environment.
  • Establishing Positive Behavior Online: This is an overview of best practices for creating and sustaining a positive remote learning environment. Attention is given to designing age-appropriate netiquette and creating student buy-in.
  • Best Practices for Reducing Student Anxiety in Remote Learning Environments:  This is a session that discusses best practices for reducing student anxiety in remote learning environments. Attention is given to teacher strategies for consistent planning and communication.

9. Remote Learning Practices: Virtual Culture and Climate

School culture and climate plays a major role in the engagement, learning, and outcomes for students and their families. This is true in both the in-person and remote settings.

  • View our live Technical Assistance Session
  • Download the presentation
  • Create a Positive Virtual Culture: Creating a positive virtual culture and climate will be key to achieving positive outcomes during remote instruction. Once created, the positive virtual culture and climate will ease the transition back to an in-person learning model and support a sustained improvement in the classroom.​
  • Student Wellness Strategies & Resources During Remote Learning:  This session is an overview of community and digital resources and strategies that school leadership, teachers, and families can access during remote learning to promote student wellness.
  • Engaging Students in Collaborative Virtual Learning Activities: This session is an overview of best practices in engaging students in collaborative learning activities.

Below please find additional resources and supports that you may find helpful!

Remote Supports

  • Responding to Critical Incidents in Schools around Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
  • MPY Teacher's Collaborative: Media Power Youth created this forum for teachers so that they could share their experiences with digital learning plans and support each other. Teachers just need to click on the "Request to Join" and answer a couple of questions.
  • Nutrition Education Resources: Explore this document for tips and ideas in support of healthy nutrition.
  • NH DCYF Family Well-Being Guide: We all have a collective responsibility to make sure kids are healthy, safe, and thriving – especially during challenging times. Parents and other caregivers are their children’s most important protectors and may need extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to check in with caregivers and children you interact with to ask how they’re doing and what they need. Lending an ear and helping families access available supports can go a long way to keeping families well.

Resources for Families:

  • Nutrition Education Resources: Explore this document for tips and ideas in support of healthy nutrition.
  • Choose Love at Home: Explore this fun and easy-to-learn program to teach the culture-creating Choose Love Formula to parents, caregivers, community and business leaders, coaches and team leaders and more!
  • Understand Your Child's Digital Life: Our children are spending more time on their devices. This connectedness is incredible. Learn more!
  • Exercise and Nutrition: Physical activity and proper nutrition can help you stay healthy and alleviate stress. Let’s discuss ways in which you can still be active at home. Meal planning and preparation can help you stay on a healthy plan. While supporting your remote learner, consider using some of the following strategies.
  • Contact a Family Resource Center: NH's Family Resource Centers provide access to a variety of supports. Check out this interactive map to find the center near you.
  • COVID-19 Parent Resource Guide: A collection of resources to support children and families across New Hampshire compiled by DCYF
  • Lynn Lyons: A Mom’s Retreat Podcast With Lynn Lyons offers authentic, compassionate straight talk for parents to connect, reflect, and feel prepared to support their family’s mental health with the stresses of our new normal.

Remote Instruction

Resources for Families:

  • Media Power Youth: All media is made with a purpose. The music, the colors, the actors and models featured — every choice is meant to influence a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors and shape our society as a whole. Media Power Youth’s mission is to provide curricula, training and workshops to build young people’s media literacy knowledge and critical-thinking skills through hands-on, engaging programs.
  • Build Strong relationships: Having a strong relationship with your remote learner will facilitate open lines of communication.
  • Resolve Conflict: Conflict resolution is an inherent aspect of maintaining a safe, healthy, and well classroom environment.
  • Talk about COVID-19: Each Learner’s worldview is formed by their experiences and interactions with the community, school, and home. Talking with your Learner about COVID-19 can help shape their perception of this virus and open up dialogue about potential questions or worries.
  • Acknowledge the Disappointment: As schools close and student activities are cancelled, many students may be feeling disappointment in the face of missed opportunities to engage in the larger community, participate in activities such as sports and prom, and accessing community activities.
  • Set High Expectations: The creation and communication of rules or expectations for behavior are an inherent aspect of maintaining a safe, healthy, and well learning environment.
  • Get them Motivated: Achievement motivation is an internal asset. Learners who display a commitment to learning are motivated to doing well in school.
  • Set and Maintain Boundaries: The shift to remote instruction means families, caregivers and students are working, learning, and living in close quarters. Establishing and maintaining healthy expectations and boundaries can help keep the environment positive, productive, and healthy.
  • Stick to a Schedule: The shift to remote instruction has tasked caregivers with both parenting duties and instruction facilitation – sometimes for more than one student – all while maintaining their own work load. Sticking to a general schedule can reduce stress and increase productivity.
  • All Together Now: All Together Now-New Hampshire (ATN-NH) is a two-year initiative funded through a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Education, Bureau of Student Support. Its primary goal is to develop a statewide sustainable model for serving students who are deaf or hard of hearing based upon the recommendations of The National Association of State Directors of Special Education’s (NASDSE) Optimizing Outcomes for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Educational Service Guidelines.
  • Online Learning Tips  for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:  Whether it be for inclement weather, water main breaks or to prevent the spread of infectious disease, more and more schools are turning to online learning days so that education can continue uninterrupted. Although this is not an exhaustive list and additional accessibility considerations may need to be made based on individual needs, here are some general considerations to keep in mind while planning for your child’s online learning.
  • Considerations for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: There are many things to be mindful of to ensure Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing have consistent high quality access to remote learning.