Social Emotional Well-Being
HFM BOCES recognizes that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important. As such, HFM BOCES will take the following actions:
- Resources from across HFM BOCES divisions will be combined to create an HFM Counseling Team that will share program resources and supports. This team will convene to review existing plans and resources.
- The Counseling Team will ensure input from multiple stakeholders, including but not limited to students, families, staff, component district personnel, community agencies and members of the Board of Education.
- The Counseling Team will offer online resources for stakeholders that address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff through the HFM BOCES website and other means.
- Faculty members will identify and support students having difficulty with transitioning back into the school setting given the changed school environment. All efforts will be made to contact the parent/guardian to ensure awareness of the situation and open lines of communication.
- The Counseling Team will work with the Department of Health and Safety Risk Management and community agencies such as the Montgomery Department of Health to provide professional development for staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as to provide information on developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff.
- To aid in the transition of returning to school for students, staff will be supported through targeted professional development, such as collaboration with HFM Instructional Services. Professional development will be provided to help teachers identify social and emotional learning critical practices for reopening.
- Social emotional well-being will be HFM BOCES’ top priority in supporting school transitions, not at the expense of academics, but to create the mental, social, and emotional space for academic learning to occur.
- HFM BOCES will engage the community in implementation efforts of its mental health support strategies. Information will be communicated to stakeholders through various platforms, including in person, email, phone calls, texts, social media, and the HFM website.
- Each division at HFM BOCES will have a team to lead implementation comprised of faculty, staff, students, and families.
- Each division at HFM BOCES will have a extended safety orientation/transition period before beginning academic content. This includes, but is not limited to, dedicating time at the beginning of the school year to which students will review proper sanitation procedures and practices.
- The counseling/guidance programs in each division will be reviewed and revised to plan, develop, and implement a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). Supports at all levels will reflect school-wide implementation of effective, efficient and evidence-based practices/strategies that are available to all students.
- HFM BOCES will provide an opportunity for all staff to heal/process emotions together, including adult anti-racism and anti-bias work.