What socialization and student mental health supports will be provided to students?

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The social-emotional well-being of our students remains a priority as we return to the 2020-2021 school year. We recognize the importance of connections and a sense of belonging as we create classroom communities.

Daily class meetings and advisory check-ins will be utilized in all scenarios to ensure our teachers have firsthand knowledge of each student. In addition to the incorporation of social-emotional learning lessons, we will continue our mindfulness educational experiences for all grade levels.

We are excited about the addition of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) teams  at each school this year as part of one of our USDOE grants. Under this project, social-emotional learning began in June with clinicians from all three schools working together to prepare professional development opportunities for all staff.

Teachers throughout the District attended a three-hour course on Creating Trauma-Informed Schools through the PBIS Framework. Participants looked at techniques to help students cope with stress and trauma with the goal of making students feel safe and comfortable when they return to school. Paraprofessionals were also invited to a professional development course on Trauma Responsive Practices through the Illinois Principal Association.

While District 2 has been a PBIS District (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) for years, we are now infusing our practice with direct SEL teaching and trauma-informed practices. Our PBIS coaches and clinicians attended an intensive 12-hour interactive training course through Midwest PBIS this summer. Our work focused on using the PBIS framework to enhance school culture, improve student engagement, and align structures and routines throughout our schools to better understand and respond to all students.

Our first weeks of school will focus on relationship-building. Instruction will be provided that will help students with emotional regulation, communication, and positive interactions with one another.