AAPS expands virtual wellness and social/emotional learning support for students, staff, families

The Reimagine Learning 2020-21 plan includes virtual support groups, SEL lessons, webinars

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Ongoing initiatives and parent support groups within Ann Arbor Public Schools are designed to make sure no parent or staff feels alone right now.

“Social and emotional learning (SEL) and wellness support for both students and staff are ever-important during these times in the Ann Arbor Public Schools,” said Julieanne Muir, one of the district’s four assistant directors of Student Intervention & Support Services. “The  collaborative efforts of this workgroup and teams of dynamic professionals have leveraged key expertise to support our students, families, and staff and benefit our school community as a whole.”

These initiatives are a collaboration of AAPS professionals who meet online to support students, parents, and staff as part of Superintendent Jeanice Swift’s Reimagine Learning 2020-2021 Plan

Formed in July, the SEL & Wellness Workgroup is composed of six dynamic professional leaders in their respective fields: An intervention specialist (Samantha Cucu), a school social worker (Angela Warr), two school psychologists (Jameel Smith and Sandra Wong), and two counselors (Denise Eaddy-Richardson and Heather Schimmel). 

Their work this summer resulted in the development of a plan for SEL & Wellness support for both students, parents, and staff in the AAPS that includes:

  • An extensive opening days professional development for all staff
  • Ongoing SEL lessons developed and provided to teachers for all PK-12 students to be enacted twice weekly during morning meetings (elementary) or advisory periods (secondary)
  • Ongoing lesson writing and by the formation/facilitation of subcommittees through Teaching & Learning Networks (TLNs).

Their work has also resulted in the AAPS SEL Parent Newsletter published every 2-3 weeks and translated into the top five languages in the district, and the AAPS Staff Wellness Survey to gauge the needs of teachers and staff.

Here are a few upcoming or recorded events of interest to the AAPS community facilitated by AAPS educators:

Supporting your Child’s Elementary Math Education – Parent Webinar

Do you want to understand more about your Elementary child’s math education? Do you struggle to help your child with their math work? Join us for a one-hour webinar that will provide you with an introduction to Elementary math instruction at AAPS, and resources and suggestions for supporting your child’s learning.

These two webinars were held this month, and the recordings will be made available to those unable to attend.

Facilitators: Edward Broom, Anne Marie Nicoll-Turner, Charlene Mangi, Anthony Stamm.

Help! Who’s this Pre-Teen/Teenager in My House?
Parents will learn ways to build and strengthen their relationships with their pre-teen/teen(s) as well as understand ways to navigate those difficult moments when your teen’s view on life totally contradicts all that you have instilled in them. The pre-teen/teen parent group will run the third Wednesday of each month from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., beginning November 18, 2020 through April 21, 2021. Parents can register here for the group.
Facilitators: Harold Wimberly, Janine Crawford, and Jameel Smith.  

Connecting Together: An AAPS Parent/Guardian Support Group

Twice-a-month Drop in support groups for parents and guardians of students in AAPS. Groups meet on the 2nd Tuesday (7:30-8:30 p.m.) and 4th Thursday (1-2 p.m.) of the month. Register here.

The upcoming Connecting Together groups with facilitator/interpreters in the following languages: 

  • Spanish – 11/12 at 1:30 p.m., 11/17 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Arabic – 11/30 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Chinese – 12/3 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Korean – 12/11 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Japanese – 12/14 at 1:30 p.m.

Facilitators: AAPS school psychologists and school social workers

Conectando juntos: un grupo de apoyo para padres / tutores de AAPS, en español

Únase a nosotros para un grupo de apoyo sin cita previa para padres y tutores de estudiantes en AAPS que hablan principalmente español. Conéctese con otros padres para encontrar apoyo y obtener ideas sobre cómo enfrentar los desafíos de 2020. Únase a nosotros en grupos el 12 de noviembre (1:30 PM), 17 de noviembre (7:30 PM). ¡Registrarse aquí! El año pasado, los padres que participaron en un grupo de apoyo para padres de AAPS informaron constantemente que lo encontraron útil y apreciaron escuchar y conectarse con otros padres que atraviesan dificultades similares.

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