Friday, October 22, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

COVID Stress Prompts Reminders of Welcoming Classroom Environment

Play

Wednesday, September 1, 2021   

ST. PAUL, Minn. - School districts across Minnesota have either started the new academic year, or will soon. As they welcome students back despite the ongoing pandemic, social workers say educators and parents need to do what they can to keep the pressure away.

Some students are returning after lengthy periods of isolation during the COVID crisis. Andrea Giles, an essential worker from St. Paul and mother of two teenagers, said her kids returned only briefly to campus in late spring, amid the pandemic and following a teachers strike. She said they're eager to be with their classmates, but added that she's still worried about their transition.

"Being in the house all the time was really hard for them," she said, "and I can tell that it affected their mental health."

She said the situation has affected their learning. The Minnesota School Social Workers Association said it's important for parents to lean on mental-health professionals in schools if they feel a child is having a hard time adjusting. Teachers are encouraged to avoid heavy loads of school work right away, and to give students a space to talk about their experience.

Heather Alden, a social worker for St. Paul Public Schools, advised parents to engage with their kids as much as possible about the new year, as a way to put them at ease.

"Who are you excited to see, and how do we meet new friends? What are some expectations from teachers?" she said.

Newly released test scores show a drop in Minnesota students meeting grade-level standards in math, science and reading. While there's legitimate concern about lost learning during the pandemic, Alden said, it's important to help kids feel comfortable before ramping up the school work.

"If the kids have a relationship with their teacher," she said, "then they're more apt to take those academic risks, and be vulnerable with what they don't know."

She added that social workers, counselors and other support staff can quickly address a child's needs if a parent or teacher speaks up. That sometimes can be easier than trying to locate a specialist outside of school in a timely manner.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021