This fall, we are returning to full-time, in-person school. For students, families and school staff, this may bring about feelings of excitement, opportunity, anticipation, uncertainty, and nervousness. That nervousness is normal.
The Oregon Department of Education is asking every school/school district to welcome its staff and students back with Care and Connection Week. This means devoting the first weeks of the school year to building relationships and community, and creating welcoming spaces for everyone.
During Care and Connection Week and beyond, we ask school administrators to provide staff, educators and students with permission and ample time to build care, connection and community with you, with each other, and with students. The intention is to create safe and invitational spaces that allow each person to be where they are at any given moment, and to offer creative opportunities for them to explore their experiences.
Many districts, schools and staff already have many activities in place to build care and connection. We invite you to create exercises and events that fit your school/school district’s schedule each day to build cultures of care, connection, and community.
If needed, the Oregon Department of Education also offers many
resources for students, families and staff to help support mental and emotional health.
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B. Grace Bullock - Senior Mental Health Strategist