“It is calmer,” Laurie Acker, the City Connects Program in Minnesota, says of the brand new school year.
“When Covid first hit it was an emergency and there was chaos. Then last year was extremely hard for teachers and students. Now this year, there’s science and protocols. We’re following CDC guidelines. If there’s a Covid positive case, we don’t have to shut down a grade or a school. Instead, we can quarantine close contacts.”
But even in this relatively calmer phase, Acker and the City Connects Coordinators she supervises are supporting students and planning ahead.
“We’ve gotten to the point where instead of being reactive, we’re proactive. We’re able to have kids eat in lunchrooms in designated spots. Kids can take their masks off when they go outside. And at some schools, Covid testing for teachers is required,” Acker says.
Coordinators are also much more attuned to signs of anxiety, so they can see when students might need more support.
“We’re running more skills groups for students that focus on coping and calming strategies.”Continue reading