Head of School Update, February 12: Coping with Stress During Virtual School

114

Dear SSIS Parents,

Yesterday, I shared an update with you about how we have adapted the school during the temporary school closure. 

Today, I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you how impressed I am with how well you have adapted. 

Across all divisions, you have shown an impressive level of engagement in supporting your children’s learning. And it shows. Despite these trying circumstances, our students continue to submit remarkable work. I couldn’t be more proud of how well all members of our SSIS families have managed to adapt. 

We also do, however, recognize the challenges for families. Your children are likely missing the social connections they have with their friends and their teachers. Some children might be struggling with the increased responsibility that goes along with the new routines, and may even be exhibiting signs of stress.

If your child is exhibiting any signs of stress, I encourage you to reach out to our teachers, administration, or SSIS counselors for support. 

During this time, please also remember that taking frequent breaks, and engaging in physical activity, are more important than ever for your child – a short walk, a run in the park, or just kicking a ball outside can do wonders. It is also worth noting that there is no need to add extra academic work, or courses outside of Virtual School, to your child’s workload. Virtual School is challenging enough for students to get used to. 

To further support you, our divisions are actively engaging students in multiple ways. Clear guidelines and expectations have been shared via email by the Elementary School principal. Teachers are communicating with students with short videos. Teachers are also monitoring SeeSaw daily to ensure that the students are participating – reaching out to the students and parents who are not active. Everyone has, however, taken into consideration the time to adjust to these new routines. 

In addition to the initial Middle School and High School guidelines that we established for parents and students, the second week has allowed MS and HS to improve Virtual School further, based on feedback from students and teachers. Google Meet has been an excellent resource for students to connect, and to have their questions answered by teachers, who are available during the first 20 minutes of each class. MS and HS continue to monitor academic data closely, determining which students are struggling, or not engaged. Follow up has been immediate, and depending on the need – counselors, administrators, teachers, and advisors have reached out to those students. To remain connected on a personal level, and to ensure students are taking care of themselves, house leagues and wellness initiatives have been shared with students.

These are just some of the ways that we aim to support our families during this time. We encourage you to stay connected through eNews for the most recent community updates, and to make use of the resources that we provide, should you need any help at all during this time. We hope to be able to welcome you all back to school very soon. We miss you.

All good wishes,

Dr. Catriona Moran
Head of School