We want to first say that this is an incredibly difficult time, and as we navigate these unprecedented times we can come together as counselors to meet the needs of not just our community, but ourselves and colleagues.
We are saddened that our students will not be able to complete their academic year; we are saddened for the students who are in home situations that are unfavorable; we are saddened for the students who will miss their prom, their graduation; and we are saddened that our work will not continue in the capacity that we have originally intended.
For those of you who are still providing services we have provided resources for you below. We have also provided a summary of the information that was provided by the VDOE. Please note that this information shall not supplant any information or guidance provided by the school division in which you work.
· MEMO 077-20: Guidance on Graduation Requirements, Awarding of Credits, and Continuity of Learning (Word)
· MEMO 075-20: COVID-19: A Parent Guide for School-Aged Children (Word)
· Follow guidance of your school division regarding direct student services
· Add'l Helpful Resources via NASP: Health Crisis Resources
· Free (as of 3/25/20) Training on School Cancellations and Trauma Resilient Schools (normally $200): COVID-19, School Cancellation, and Trauma
· Additional Self Care Resources:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rtNuAs7JIQV8Eu_-l1y4-PE4IEZNeBI7Ss1AZp9i43U/edit?usp=sharing
In closing, we recognize how challenging these times may be for you and individuals for whom you care deeply. Amid the tumult, we encourage you to tend to your own self care--in whatever way that looks for you.
As school counselors, we naturally have hearts of gold. We are empathic, caring, and always strive to put students’ needs first, no matter what. It’s in our blood. It’s in our DNA.
However, we must tend to our personal needs, so that we may effectively support others. While the future is fraught with uncertainty, one thing is very clear: the future of school counseling across our Commonwealth is very bright. Together, we will overcome whatever obstacles emerge and continue to put students first. Please be safe and give yourself grace.
Our thoughts are with you and Rebecca Kaderli, our VCA president is thinking of you all as well.