With rates of mental health issues increasing rapidly during the pandemic, adding resources to meet students’ social, emotional and behavioral needs has become an even greater priority for school officials — including those in the Brea Olinda Unified School District.
As reported by Good Day LA, Brea Olinda educators have seen a shift in students’ behavioral and emotional patterns in the classroom. School psychologist Rachel Miller told Good Day LA that more students are withdrawing and isolating themselves from others because of their uncertainty over how to act in social situations.
In response, the district has begun assigning school psychologists and counselors to each school site to help students adjust and let them know they are not alone.
“The great thing about doing the social-emotional lessons every month is that we’re able to go inside the classrooms and let them know that it’s OK if you’re feeling stressed out and your feelings are valid,” district counselor Erika Rodriguez told Good Day LA.
The district has also created an online wellness center for students to access additional support and resources not available on campus, Good Day LA reported.
Superintendent Brinda Leon expressed the importance of being able to provide these services, now more than ever.
“I always look for those silver linings in the pandemic and I feel the silver lining of being able to focus on mental health is a gift — it’s a gift to society and it’s our gift to our kids,” said Leon.
Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:
- Through the federally-funded Affordable Connectivity Program, eligible families of prekindergarten to adult students can now receive a monthly discount of up to $30 for high-speed internet service.
- Huntington Beach High School administrators recently visited the local nonprofit Project Hope Alliance to fill backpacks with school supplies for Orange County youth experiencing homelessness.
- Starting this week, the Santa Ana Unified School District is offering “plant-based Wednesdays” menu options for its students as a part of the state’s Universal Meals program, which qualifies all students for two free meals a day.
- High school students from Orange County teamed up to create and construct a spaghetti-framed bridge for the final project of the four-week Engineering Innovation program hosted through a partnership between California State University, Fullerton and Johns Hopkins University.
- The Orange County Register reported that attorney Jorge Valdes will join the Orange County Board of Education after the four sitting members held a vote Wednesday.
- Solis Park School in Irvine opened its doors for the first time to elementary and middle school students who live in the Great Park Neighborhoods.
- Despite improvements, attendance rates in the Los Angeles Unified School District continue to take a hit as 11 percent of enrolled students were marked absent from their first day of the new school year.
- At its Wednesday meeting, the Long Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education voted to unanimously approve a new energy and sustainability policy organized by student activists.
- For the first time in 20 years, eligible K-12 teachers, counselors, teachers’ aides and principals can now deduct up to $300 of out-of-pocket classroom expenses following an educator expense deduction limit increase by the IRS.
- California will invest $4.7 billion into mental health and substance abuse services for children and young people, according to a Thursday announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
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