Coronavirus Response Tool Box

The Coronavirus disease outbreak threatens our communities, locally and globally. Working together, we can strengthen the public health and community response that will help protect all of us.

View the Community Tool Box website to find links to useful tools drawn from authoritative sources — the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and from the Community Tool Box, used by nearly 6 million people worldwide.

On the Community Tool Box website you will find tools such as:

GUIDANCE FOR COMMUNITIES

COMMUNICATING THE THREAT AND RESPONSE

PROTECTING AND CARING FOR YOURSELF AND FAMILY

GUIDANCE FOR HEALTH WORKERS

& TOOLS FOR COMMUNITY ACTION

Community Action Services Updates

Under advisement of state and local Public Health authorities, Community Action is taking the following steps to keep our clients, staff, and community safe:

In-person Services Suspended: Community Action is fulfilling our mission during COVID-19. We are providing services, but all in-person services have been suspended at all locations until further notice. Our East County Resource Center is remaining open with limited walk-up services. We have added remote services options. There are many new services available for the first time to people of low-to-moderate income. See below for program-by-program updates. For more information, please call:

  • Main office, general information, and Skagit Vets Connect: 360.416.7585
  • Energy Assistance: 360.428.1011
  • WIC: 360.416.759
  • East County Resource Center: 360-416-1735

To follow Community Actions Daily updated during COVID-19, visit their website for daily updates.

Virtual SEL Resources for Educators

Families, schools and the world are reeling in response to COVID-19. In the midst of the chaos of this week, we’ve been inspired by you. You’ve risen to the challenge in countless ways— going above and beyond in your problem-solving, restoring connection through innovative e-learning solutions, and reassuring families that we’re all in this together. We see what you’re doing and want you to know that Conscious Discipline has your back. Here are a few of the ways that we are supporting your efforts on the front lines:

ENHANCED ACCESS FOR ALL LEVELS OF E-COURSE SITE LICENSES

We’ve made immediate changes to all levels of our E-Course Site License structure to better support virtual professional development. Effective immediately, Site Licenses enable individual users to remotely access video sessions, participant guides and bonus resources from anywhere. Learn more here.

FREE WEBINAR SERIES: UNDERSTANDING TRAUMA WITH DR. BAILEY

We’re making our 3-session webinar series Understanding Trauma with Dr. Becky Bailey available at no cost for individual users for the next 90 days. Register for free access today.

FREE PREMIUM RESOURCE MEMBERSHIPS

Take advantage of 90 days of complimentary access to our most requested implementation tools, including Elevate SEL video sessions, audio series with Dr. Becky Bailey, Make-N-Takes, Conscious Discipline Games, We Care Cards and more. Sign up now.

FREE PRINTABLE SOCIAL STORY “WHY CAN’T I GO TO SCHOOL?”

This morning we added a timely and specific Free Printable Social Story titled “Why Can’t I Go to School?” from Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor Abbi Kruse. Available in six languages, this helpful tool offers simple, age-appropriate language responding to this important question. Download now.

90- DAY EXTENSIONS ON ALL DIGITAL PRODUCTS

All digital product licenses will be automatically extended for an additional 90 days beyond your original expiration date. This includes online courses, paid webinars and memberships. There’s no need to worry about losing access and no action required on your part.

In case you missed it, we also shared an article earlier this week titled COVID-19: Five Helpful Responses for Families. In it, you’ll find practical suggestions that restore safety, build connection and create routines. We’ve included lots of links to related free resources, including webinars, podcasts, printables and more.

My friends – safety, connection and problem-solving are the most valuable contribution we can offer to those around us as we navigate this unprecedented season. Take a deep breath, you can handle this!

We’re All In This Together,

Dr. Becky A. Bailey
Founder and Chief Knowledge Officer 
Conscious Discipline

Pre-K Kindergarten Transitions Report Ready!

It’s almost that time of year again when preschool teachers and caregivers around the region have the chance to reflect and share about the children that they’ll be sending off to kindergarten in the fall.  To help with this process, Pre-K Kindergarten Transition Forms support pre-k teachers to share their deep understanding of students’ strengths, needs, passions, and idiosyncrasies with their future kindergarten teachers.  This communication and connection does a great deal for our young scholars.  Here’s what you need to know:

If you’ve participated in this program in the past:

  1. We will continue to collect the forms in two batches.  The first batch needs to be received at NWESD by May 15th.  The second (and final) deadline is June 30th.
  2. To access the forms themselves and reminders about how to complete them, etc., visit:  https://www.nwesd.org/prek-ktransitionreport/

If you are an early learning provider who is new to this program:

  1. Please check out the attached PowerPoint for information about the history, purpose, and function of the reports
  2. Find reports, guides, and other supporting materials here:  https://www.nwesd.org/prek-ktransitionreport/
  3. Contact me if you have questions or concerns

If you’re a school district partner, please expect a shipment of reports for your incoming kindergarten students in late June and another one in mid-July.  Reports are best utilized by the Kindergarten team for placement (when timing allows) and/or in preparing for students prior to the start of school.  Please be on the lookout for these reports and be prepared to distribute them as soon as possible to teachers or teams.  If you are not the best person to receive and distribute reports in your school district, please let me know the best contact and address for shipments.

Feel free to reach out with any questions and/or concerns that come up for you.

Thank you all for your help in coordinating this important resource for early learning connections!  The incredible kinder teachers in our region will be more ready for their next crop of young students who will benefit greatly from this collaborative effort!

Best,

Sarah

Sarah Southard
Director of Early Learning and Migrant Education
Northwest Educational Service District
1601 R Avenue | Anacortes, WA 98221
360-299-4045 | ssouthard@nwesd.org | www.nwesd.org | Facebook | Twitter

The Train Like a Champion Blog

Looking for tips and ideas during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Click on the links below to Train Like a Champion!

Virtual learning through text, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger

Successfully Working in a Remote Office (podcast)

Preparing your organization to work from home

Trying New Things with Mel Milloway (podcast)

20 Questions (Training Edition)

Designing Webinars with Kassy LaBorie (podcast)

How can people use ATD’s annual State of the Industry report?

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently reports that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is low for young Americansresearch on natural disasters makes it clear that, compared to adults, children are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events that disrupt their daily lives. This resource offers information on supporting and protecting children’s emotional well-being as this public health crisis unfolds.

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, everyday life has changed and will continue to change for most people in the United States, often with little notice. Children may struggle with significant adjustments to their routines (e.g., schools and child care closuressocial distancing, home confinement), which may interfere with their sense of structure, predictability, and security. Young people—even infants and toddlers—are keen observers of people and environments, and they notice and react to stress in their parents and other caregivers, peers, and community members. They may ask direct questions about what is happening now or what will happen in the future and may behave differently in reaction to strong feelings (e.g., fear, worry, sadness, anger) about the pandemic and related conditions. Children also may worry about their own safety and the safety of their loved ones, how they will get their basic needs met (e.g., food, shelter, clothing), and uncertainties for the future.

While most children eventually return to their typical functioning when they receive consistent support from sensitive and responsive caregivers, others are at risk of developing significant mental health problems, including trauma-related stress, anxiety, and depression. Children with prior trauma or pre-existing mental, physical, or developmental problems—and those whose parents struggle with mental health disorderssubstance misuse, or economic instability—are at especially high risk for emotional disturbances.

In addition to keeping children physically safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also important to care for their emotional health. Below, we summarize recommendations for promoting the emotional well-being of children in the face of these types of adversities and provide a list of helpful resources. Because broader environments play an important role in supporting an individual’s resilience to childhood adversity, this list supplements resources specifically for children and their families with those intended for educators, communities, and states, territories, and tribes.

Recommendations to support and protect children’s emotional well-being during the pandemic:

Understand that reactions to the pandemic may vary.

Children’s responses to stressful events are unique and varied. Some children may be irritable or clingy, and some may regress, demand extra attention, or have difficulty with self-care, sleeping, and eating. New and challenging behaviors are natural responses, and adults can help by showing empathy and patience and by calmly setting limits when needed.

Ensure the presence of a sensitive and responsive caregiver.

The primary factor in recovery from a traumatic event is the presence of a supportive, caring adult in a child’s life. Even when a parent is not available, children can benefit greatly from care provided by other adults (e.g., foster parents, relatives, friends) who can offer them consistent, sensitive care that helps protect them from a pandemic’s harmful effects.

Social distancing should not mean social isolation.

Children—especially young children—need quality time with their caregivers and other important people in their lives. Social connectedness improves children’s chances of showing resilience to adversity. Creative approaches to staying connected are important (e.g., writing letters, online video chats).

Provide age-appropriate information.

Children tend to rely on their imaginations when they lack adequate information. Adults’ decisions to withhold information are usually more stressful for children than telling the truth in age-appropriate ways. Adults should instead make themselves available for children to ask questions and talk about their concerns. They might, for example, provide opportunities for kids to access books, websites, and other activities on COVID-19 that present information in child-friendly ways. In addition, adults should limit children’s exposure to media coverage, social media, and adult conversations about the pandemic, as these channels may be less age-appropriate. Ongoing access to news and social media about the pandemic and constant conversation about threats to public safety can cause unnecessary stress for children.

Create a safe physical and emotional environment by practicing the 3 R’s: Reassurance, Routines, and Regulation.

First, adults should reassure children about their safety and the safety of loved ones, and tell them that it is adults’ job to ensure their safety. Second, adults should maintain routines to provide children with a sense of safety and predictability (e.g., regular bedtimes and meals, daily schedules for learning and play). And third, adults should support children’s development of regulation. When children are stressed, their bodies respond by activating their stress response systems. To help them manage these reactions, it is important to both validate their feelings (e.g., “I know that this might feel scary or overwhelming”) and encourage them to engage in activities that help them self-regulate (e.g., exercise, deep breathing, mindfulness or meditation activities, regular routines for sleeping and eating). In addition, it is essential to both children’s emotional and physical well-being to ensure that families can meet their basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, clothing).

Keep children busy.

When children are bored, their levels of worry and disruptive behaviors may increase. Adults can provide options for safe activities (e.g., outside play, blocks, modeling clay, art, music, games) and involve children in brainstorming other creative ideas. Children need ample time to engage in play and other joyful or learning experiences without worrying or talking about the pandemic.

Increase children’s self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is the sense of having agency or control—an especially important trait during times of fear and uncertainty. Children often feel more in control when they can play an active role in helping themselves, their families, and their communities. For example, children can help by following safety guidelines (e.g., washing their hands), preparing for home confinement (e.g., helping to cook and freeze food), or volunteering in the community (e.g., writing letters or creating art for older adults or sick friends, sharing extra supplies with a neighbor).

Create opportunities for caregivers (which may mean yourself!) to take care of themselves.

Children’s well-being depends on the well-being of their parents and other caregivers. Caregivers must take care of themselves so they have the internal resources to care for others. To this end, adult caregivers can engage in self-care by staying connected to social supports, getting enough rest, and taking time for restorative activities (e.g., exercise, meditation, reading, outdoor activities, prayer). Seeking help from a mental health provider is also important when adults struggle with very high levels of stress and other mental health challenges.

Seek professional help if children show signs of trauma that do not resolve relatively quickly.

Emotional and behavioral changes in children are to be expected during a pandemic, as everyone adjusts to a new sense of normal. If children show an ongoing pattern of emotional or behavioral concerns (e.g., nightmares, excessive focus on anxieties, increased aggression, regressive behaviors, or self-harm) that do not resolve with supports, professional help may be needed. Many mental health providers have the capacity to provide services via “telehealth” (i.e., therapy provided by telephone or an online platform) when in-person social contact must be restricted.

Emphasize strengths, hope, and positivity.

Children need to feel safe, secure, and positive about their present and future. Adults can help by focusing children’s attention on stories about how people come together, find creative solutions to difficult problems, and overcome adversity during the epidemic. Talking about these stories can be healing and reassuring to children and adults alike.