Navigating the Shift Back to School

These last few weeks of remote learning, and connecting with friends and loved ones virtually, have taught us just how vital it is to see each other in person.

While we’ve all been benefiting from the ability to stay in touch virtually, we’re realizing what is missed when we can’t be together in the same space. In moving forward with opening the school a little at a time now we’re so looking forward to reconnecting in person and moving ever closer to our regular daily school life.

While students in Grades 4 and 11 are returning to school as of Monday, May 11, students in other grade levels are likely preparing mentally for their return as well. We understand and empathize that some may be coming to school worried that they might expose themselves to a potentially unsafe situation, as they see that new procedures and routines are set in place to ensure appropriate physical distancing. The one thing we as a school wish to stress the most is that in the return to school, the teachers’ and support staff’s primary aim is to help students feel psychologically as well as physically safe.

Though students will be coming back to school in a situation that is different from their previous experience at the FIS, they are still coming back to a lot of familiarity – the most important of which is a safe and caring place to be together and learn together.

We’ve collated a range of resources (below) for children and parents that we feel may be useful during this next stage of slowly moving back to normalcy, both at school and at home.

Do remember that we’re a listening school: if your children are struggling in any regard and you would like additional resources for supporting them, please be in contact.

We’d like to close with an insight into the term adversarial growth, which is the psychological phenomenon that enables individuals to look forward in life instead of being stuck in the past. Adversarial growth is our aim both in the support we give to students, as well as in the development of our school as an institution in these changing times. It enables people to emerge from challenging life experiences with increased emotional resilience, a heightened sense of appreciation, and improved personal relationships. As we work together in supporting students both in school and at home in noticing, acknowledging, and developing their emotional resilience, we are supporting them in growing through present adversities.

Resources

Useful articles

Six questions to check in with ourselves daily while social distancing To make sure we and our kids are doing ok
Talking about world trauma with kids An age-by-age guide to talking with kids
Parents working at home Advice for balancing work and kids at home
Looking after yourself in isolation Advice from young minds
Zoom exhaustion is real Tips from on managing Zoom fatigue from Mindful
Coping with Coronavirus Short videos from Harvard Medical School on regulating emotions and building resilience

Apps

iChill Learn about how to better notice how stress affects the mind and body and how to apply resilience skills
Headspace The original mindfulness app
Calm Image rich mindfulness
Insight Timer A personal favorite for meditation
Inner Explorer For family mindfulness
GoNoodle Movement games for kids to break up the day
Better Kids Wisdom Games Free games for managing emotions and building empathy!

Online mindfulness course

Free online mindfulness class for kids From Mindful Schools

 

We hope these links will be useful. On behalf of the FIS faculty and staff, we look forward to having you back at the school!

Jasmina Dzafic
Elementary School Counselor

Judy Bradley
Middle School Counselor

Michelle Ang
High School Counselor and Wellbeing Coordinator

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