NOTE: If you subscribe to more than American Academy news page, you will receive all updates in no more than one email, once per day. If there are no updates to from any grade-level or specials news pages, you will not receive any updates email.
Welcome to Student Support Services (SSS) News: We will be posting SSS updates here throughout the year and we invite you to come learn more about what we do to support ALL students at American Academy. We strive to provide families with information and helpful tools to best support their students. This webpage is still under construction, so it is highly encouraged that you visit our Student Support Services website throughout the year to learn more about our team and to receive helpful tips to support your child at home.
Can you believe March is already here? With Spring on the horizon, we have a lot to look forward to at American Academy. The third trimester of the ’18-'19 school year is going to be a busy one, filled with lots more learning and fun. This time of year can be more stressful and exhausting for students, their families, and educational staff alike. It is important that we are all taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally. As a starter, take some time as a family to discuss those things that help give us balance in life and then be sure to support each other with those things when life can become a bit stressful and overwhelming. This update focuses on supporting children when they express anxiety, stress, or possible other emotions, such as grief, this time of year. Please also visit our School Counseling
page for additional information.
What to Say to Children When They Are Anxious
As our children are moving into the third trimester they are dealing with many emotions. This may include excitement for Spring Break and the downhill trek to summer vacation, stress from homework, conflicts with peers, and a host of other emotions. Spring is an exciting time in schools but it is also a time that can lend itself to anxiety in our children and ourselves. Our Mental Health team has pulled together some resources regarding anxiety in children, coping with stress, and grief/loss. Our hope is that if you're family is dealing with these difficult emotions, the following resources may come in handy.
Resources for Anxiety and Stress:
Heavy Duty: Stress among kids is at an all-time high. Why? Experts explore what makes modern childhood more stressful than ever and how parents can ease the pressure (view attachment on right)
Talking Points to Use With Children Who have Experienced a Loss:
• Validating their feelings; there is no right or wrong way to react to a loss
• It can be helpful for parents to share their feelings; this lets the child know it’s okay to talk about
• Encourage them to talk with an adult they trust since other kids often don’t have answers or resources to help with grief
• Let kids ask questions, and try to answer the best you can but it’s also okay to say you don’t have an answer while reassuring them
• Two biggest worries in school-aged children are 1) will I die/what will happen after I die and 2) what will happen to me if my parents die; sometimes the most comforting way to address #2 is to be logical and make a “plan”
• Encourage or even enforce that the kids engage in self-care; important for everyone, but especially during difficult times. Some students feel guilty at the idea of taking care of themselves or doing something they enjoy when others are suffering, but reminding them that they can’t be strong for others until they take care of themselves is a good way to give them “permission” to use self-care and take a break
• If they’re close to the person that was lost, finding a way to memorialize or remember them can help bring closure (e.g. planting a flower, creating a piece of art, writing a letter to the person they lost, visiting a special place on special dates)
The following resources could be helpful:
Additional books on topics related to grief/loss, worry, and emotions in general. (view attachment on right)
Additional Mental Health Resources:
The following information has been sent out to all families of Douglas County School District in the past. We wanted to post it again as it contains some great information regarding mental health resources for families. Below is a list of resources for parents, should you have a concern that your child may be experiencing behavioral changes, mood swings, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Safe2Tell is a resource that our Mental Health team will be sharing with all AA middle school students. This anonymous reporting system provides a way for students, parents, and community members to report unsafe and risky behaviors before they grow out of control. Even though we may feel like our children are too young to be dealing with some serious issues like self-harm, fighting, bullying, and threats, we want to give them the tools to report their concerns when they arise. Students will be provided with handouts that familiarize them with the Safe2Tell resources.
For more information, please visit Safe2Tell.org.