Without librarians, school libraries would merely be collections of books. Instead, they serve as high-tech gateways to knowledge, welcoming spaces that expose students of all ages and abilities to free expression and new ideas. Media Center Specialists stay on top of literary trends, but also are intimately familiar with other avenues of communication and discovery, from academic journals to podcasts, film, video and social media platforms. They have that special knack for finding just the right material to make learning meaningful and fun, and we can’t imagine learning without them. Thank you for all your hard work, even while we are all “social distancing”.
We’ve countered COVID-19’s assault on our physical health by social distancing and working and educating our children from home. But what can, and should, we be doing to safeguard our mental health?
World health experts who have argued for flattening the COVID-19 curve are now warning of a second coronavirus wave of depression, anxiety and emotional exhaustion that could last long after the infectious disease threat has waned.
“It’s important to take care of yourself after any traumatic event,” says BJ Weller, Director of Canyons District’s Responsive Services Department, which oversees counseling and social-emotional supports in schools. “But this health crisis has been particularly worrisome from a mental wellness perspective, because the steps we’ve needed to take to respond can make it harder to cope emotionally.” Social distancing has left many of us socially isolated and economically vulnerable. We are grieving the loss of loved ones and important rituals, from weddings to graduation ceremonies, even as we lose connection with family and friends, the very people to whom we turn to mourn our losses.
But students and parents can take comfort knowing they’re not alone, Weller says. “We’re all going through this together, and help is available.” Throughout the soft closure of Utah’s schools, CSD social workers, psychologists and counselors have been proactively checking-in with students by email or phone. As the growing need for mental health supports has become apparent, the Department of Responsive Services is now launching an online behavioral supports request form that parents can easily access from home.
The Canyons Board of Education will continue to do the public’s business — and patrons can participate, even in this era of social distancing. In keeping with Utah’s stay-at-home order, we invite patrons to participate and provide public comment remotely during the scheduled Tuesday, April 21 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education.
Among the agenda items the Board will be considering are: A proposal to include in Draper Elementary School’s boundaries a 120-unit apartment complex located on the southeast corner of Traverse Ridge and Highland Drive. Currently, the boundaries divide the apartment complex, which means the children who reside there are assigned to two separate schools.
All Canyons Board of Education meetings are livestreamed from this link. Agendas also are available online and published at least 24 hours in advance of each meeting. During the April 21 meeting, the public comment portion begins shortly after 7 p.m. If you’re inclined to give input, please follow this link for instructions on how to sign up to provide comment via the District’s teleconferencing line: https://www.canyonsdistrict.org/district-news/item/12464-public-invited-to-participate-in-livestreamed-board-of-education-meeting