Good morning LKS Families.
We hope all of you are healthy and well. The weather finally appears to have turned for the better which I know in my home has everyone in somewhat better spirits. That being said, the announcement to keep schools closed – which was a surprise to no one I am sure – and the cancellation of summer camps have led to yet another ‘kick’ to our students and families, mine included. Stay positive and safely enjoy the nice weather as much as you can.
Last night, Kimm and I had the opportunity to join our grade 7s at their ‘virtual’ Camp Muskoka camp fire. Plenty of great songs and stories were shared and was the highlight of our week without a doubt.
In this week’s LKS Connected.
- Well-Being and Mental Health Resources
- Staff Additions
- Access to LKS
- Unsinkable Youth
Well-Being and Mental Health Resources
Taking care of yourself is an important part of supporting well-being. As we continue to live with the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, it is important to find ways to nurture and take care of yourself. Sometimes we feel guilty for taking the time to care for/ focus on ourselves. This is a life skill that is helpful for everyone, regardless of age. Taking care of yourself (self-care) can look different for everyone. But in doing so you can improve your energy, find joy, and refocus on what really matters to you. Here are some ideas for you:
- Find moments of stillness and quiet in your day
- Move your body
- Go outside/be in nature
- Rest when you can and prioritize regular sleep
- Reflect on what works for you
- Give yourself permission to focus on your own needs and set boundaries on obligations
- Find pleasure in things that you like to do
- Explore new ways to relax and unwind
- Eat and hydrate when you can to fuel your body and mind
- Find some time during the day to connect with friends and family
Exercises for Elementary Students
- Self-Care for Students Self-Care 101
- Listen to books read aloud on KidLit TV (check out I AM PEACE) and at Brightly Storytime on YouTube (try Miss Maple’s Seeds)
- Be kind to Yourself
- Read a social story about self-care: Getting Ready for My Day
- Visuals can support children to help them recognize when they need a break and how they can request one! Check out these Break Cards
- Read a Self-Care Tip Sheet with Visuals 12 Instant Stress Busters
- Try some nice clean sensory fun! Rainbow Soap Foam Bubbles Sensory Play
- Or check out these other great art activities with materials you can find at home: 20 hands-on activities to keep kids busy
- Students can watch how to take care of themselves and everyone else by handwashing
Exercises for Middle and High School Students
- Try a meditation apps, such as Smiling Mind, Calm, Headspace
- Try an at home workout or free mindfulness and hip hop class Online Workshops April 20 to June 26
- Make a Coping Box to help you through tough moments
- Self-Care 101
- How teenagers can protect their mental health during COVID-19
- Six ways t practice self-care Frm CAMH
- Find a Resurce – Students
- “Psychlogy Works” Fact Sheet: Student Wellness and COVID-19
- Creative Ways to Support your Mental Health Six ways to practice self-care
- Quiz: Am I practicing enough self-care?
Additional Resources for Parents
- Psychological Impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Helping Teens Cope with the Impacts of and Restrictions Related to COVID-19
- Sesame Street: A Moment to Yourself | Parent PSA
- Creativity in Isolation: Making Art May Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety
- Growing At Your Doorsteps
- Video: Anxiety 101 Part 2 How to Help Children and Teens Cope with Worry
- Video: Anxiety 101 Part 3 More Ways to Help Children and Teens Cope with Worry
- TDSB resource: Self-Care Strategies for Families of Children with Special Needs
Kimm and I are pleased to announce that we have just hired two new teachers that will be starting at LKS in the Fall. Please join us in welcoming Melissa Gage from Park Lawn JMS and Brad Harvie from James S. Bell Sports and Wellness Academy. Both are phenomenal educators who consistently put kids first and we are very excited to have them joining are staff. We still have two to three positions to fill in early to mid-summer and will update once complete.
Now that we know schools are closed for the remainder of the year we are just waiting for official word of when staff and students can enter the school. Once we have approval, Kimm and I will share the process and schedule times for entry. We are going to do our best to arrange times that would allow for students to enter when their teachers are in the building so we can do ‘socially distant’ waves and goodbyes. More information to come and rest assured the safety of all students and staff will be the guiding principle for these visits.
Thank you to one of our parents for sharing this event which will be broadcast today at 1:00 p.m. on CTV and Unsinkable’s Facebook Channel – sorry for the late notice. Kids Help Phone, in partnership with Silkan Laumann’s not for profit organization, Unsinkable, has partnered to bring to all Canadian viewers a show that will provide insight into how young people are feeling and dealing with COVID-19 and mental health issues. This show not only celebrates their strength and resiliency but will let the kids know that they are not alone. Please see the attachment: Unsinkable Youth_May 22 2020 Letter to Educators.pdf
Take care everyone and stay well.
John and Kimm