To the editor,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to remind all of us how important it is to protect our children’s mental health. Here are three ways we can keep kids mentally healthy during the pandemic, and all year long.

– Provide consistency. Consistency and routine are critical components to positive child development. Consistency might look different from school to school and from family to family. What’s important is that kids know what to expect each day. At Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA), this means we’ve remained ready for students to login, begin live classroom instruction, and continue learning.

– Focus on social emotional learning. These days, social emotional learning (SEL) is more important than ever, which is why it’s included in our daily lessons all year long. When our state’s stay at home order first went into effect, we added an SEL lounge offering daily activities for students to provide them with additional support. Now students can take SEL classes with our school counselor. Right now, we’re learning about health and safety. 

– Grace. Everyone is experiencing additional stressors, so let’s remember to give students, families and teachers grace. If that means focusing on different priorities or taking a break to spend some time outdoors (alone or with your family), that’s OK. If it’s finding another way for students to learn, let’s support that and meet students where they are at.

What’s most important is that we are there for each other during these trying times.

Shawna Stueck

K-5 Literacy Interventionist and Team Lead, Wisconsin Virtual Academy

De Pere

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