Scenario 1: In-school classes

Please text or call our division hotline 403-588-8155 if your child receives a positive COVID-19 result from Alberta Health Services. To learn more, please see our Division website.

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Welcome to Counsellors Corner

Counselling Corner

 

Some news from your School Counselor


“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you,
and uphold you with my right hand.” Isaiah 41:10


Dear Parents and Guardians;


As we embark on a new normal in education we want to ensure that your child’s
mental health continues to be supported as well as their academic needs. Each
week with your child’s lessons will be tips and information from the school
counsellor to assist with navigating through what may be a scary, confusing and
overwhelming time. It is important for all of us to provide social and emotional
support for each other and especially our students and children. Many may be
feeling anxious or on edge and we hope to help calm these feelings so that during
these challenging times learning is not impacted and children continue to view
themselves positively as they navigate their worlds. It is important to develop and
maintain a culture of caring from the school and in the home.


Counselling experts have shared how important it is that children feel empowered.
Providing them with a sense that they belong and are competent to make decisions
helps them to feel assured and in control when so many things are currently out of
our control. When children feel confident and empowered they develop measures
of resiliency that helps them navigate an unprecedented, disruptive time like this.
Here are a few tips for parents and caregivers to help children cope with
COVID-19:


Keep Calm.
These trying times can be very overwhelming and stressful for everyone, including
kids. They pick up on everything from the adult conversations around them to the
information they encounter on social media, so it’s important to be a good role
model. Remember that panic only creates more panic. If you are afraid, it’s
important that you work through your anxiety so that you do not further escalate
your child’s worries. And remember, kids do not learn well when they are feeling
stressed.
Listen and be supportive.
Being a good listener is key. Let them raise and share their own concerns. Reflect
on and validate their feelings. It’s okay to say, “I’m feeling a little worried too, but
we will take care of ourselves and get through this.” It’s important to meet
children where they are and to answer their questions and to address their
concerns. Help children communicate their feelings and remind them that it’s okay
to feel sad, mad, afraid, or confused.


Be honest and accurate.
Information is useful, but too much information can have the reverse effect.
Talking about the facts that we know helps to relieve anxiety. And, most
importantly, be honest and accurate but not gloomy.


Emphasize safety.
Reassure kids that they are safe. Doctors and scientists across the country are
working on this and doing everything possible to protect us and keep us safe. Focus
on all the other caring adults around them who are working to keep them safe.


Encourage healthy habits.
All of the things we know as adults—eating healthy, mindfulness activities, and
getting plenty of sleep—are important to practice at home, not only during school
closures but every day. Give kids instructions on how to stay safe and healthy. Our
school district shares pointers for healthy habits so use our school/ division
website as a valuable resource for this. Lastly, regularly review and model basic
hygiene and health practices for protection.


Limit social media.
Your kids might be scared of things they’ve heard or seen on television or social
media. Monitor and limit social media and screen time to prevent children from
becoming oversaturated with frightening messages. Instead, do fun things, if
possible.


Enjoy quality time together.
Above all, engage in enjoyable activities together. Some activities to do at home as
a family include: reading books together, doing puzzles, building forts, going for
walks, painting, playing with Legos. Simply put, just spend time together. While this
is a scary time, it could very well be remembered as one of their best childhood
memories. Above all, remember to always give children choices whenever possible.


If you have any questions or require counselling supports in any way, please contact
either Rachael Kohut(rachael.kohut@rdcrs.ca) or Dean
Osczevski(dean.osczevski@rdcrs.ca), or Kara Eggen(FSEC) kara.eggen@rdcrs.ca
Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 3:30pm.
St.Matthew School 403-845-2836


Sincerely,
Rachael Kohut
Dean Osczevski
Kara Eggen

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