Supporting Students and Staff Cope with Anxiety/Trauma
Schools shall develop a staff and student wellbeing plan based on their individual Risk Assessments in conjunction with school counselors.
Staff and students may be returning to school having experienced effects related to confinement, social isolation, and loss and bereavement amongst many other things. Schools may want to consider hiring additional counselors to support the school community (students but also teachers and staff) with post-confinement as well as identify age- and context-appropriate resources to cope with mental health issues.
Counsellors and wellbeing support staff should have appropriate knowledge of how to communicate with Students of Determination and demonstrate an understanding of their unique circumstances. Students of Determination may be more emotionally vulnerable as a result of the COVID 19 situation and this may impact negatively upon their emotional health and wellbeing.
Where Counsellors do not have the appropriate training and expertise to support and communicate with Students of Determination, professional training and advice should be sought from staff members familiar with the needs of the student whilst ensuring their right to privacy. If this support cannot be found within the school due to issues of privacy, Counsellors should seek advice from other professionals whilst maintaining the student’s confidentiality.
Developing Resources to Safeguard Students from Online Harassment and Exploitation in Preparation for Future Remote Learning
Schools shall review their existing online harassment policies to include any additional risks as identified as part of their Risk Assessment.
Schools are encouraged to develop resources and awareness campaigns to teach students on how to identify cyberbullying (whether as a victim or perpetuator) and mechanisms to protect oneself from being bullied/bullying further.
Students of Determination may be at increased vulnerability to online harassment and exploitation. Students of Determination must receive training and the appropriate resources to support their personal cybersafety. Parents of Students of Determination should also be supported to be alert to instances of harassment and concerns over cybersafety. All reports of online harassment must be reported to the school immediately and dealt with as appropriate.