As with many of our partnerships and programs in Seneca, COVID-19 has thrown us all for a loop. It has been amazing to see how Seneca Staff have jumped at every opportunity to meet the needs of students, families, partnerships, and colleagues. This is especially true at our partnership with Emerson Elementary School where we have two Clinical Intervention Specialists and a Behavioral Intervention Specialist, working what seems like 24 hours a day. They don’t actually work 24 hours a day, don’t worry HR! They just work really, really hard. Throughout the year, and years prior, they have truly integrated themselves within the Emerson Community and have continued to be a constant support and presence throughout COVID-19. We all know that these are confusing times and can only imagine what it must feel like for our younger students. In an effort of prevention and education, Seneca Staff have developed a (Social Emotional Learning) SEL Curriculum to help students understand and explain the effects of the pandemic when students do return to school. This going to be a major aide in supporting the students as they transition back from an extended time outside of the four walls of our schools.
As one would imagine, and a number of us are experiencing at the moment, it is really difficult to connect with students and families during remote learning. Seneca Staff and Emerson have developed “Communication Captains” which assigns students to a specific staff member for weekly check-ins. This has enabled staff to help meet family needs (food, gift cards, etc.) and continue the facilitation/development of relationships. One of our weekly highlights is our food distribution to students and families during the pandemic. Not to worry, decked out in PPE and social distancing, staff joyously wave to students and families as they coordinate and deliver food packages throughout the Emerson Community. It is also important to acknowledge the affects that COVID-19 has had on our colleagues (including colleagues within our partnership). Seneca Staff at Emerson regularly meet with teachers and provide mental health supports for those who are experiencing their own struggles with COVID-19. Due to the relationships that the CISs and BIS have within the partnership, School Administration highly values these individuals and have trusted them in leading weekly professional development opportunities at the school which include in deep discussions at their book club (“Brain Wash”) and yoga sessions from Seneca’s very own yogi Jenna Laube. All this to say, well done Emerson Crew, we are proud of you all and the work that you do - I appreciate ya’ll!
All-In! Partnership Team