MARQUETTE, Mich., (WJMN) – Marquette Area Public Schools is asking all students to participate in a well-being screener between September 21 and 25, 2020.
The school district has administered screenings with pencil and paper before, but Lesley Addison a counselor at Bothwell Middle School says this year they will be doing the screening online.
“This year’s a little different because of being out of school last year in the spring and perhaps having missed some connections with students in that transition last spring or over the summer, whereas we’ve come back this is just a way for us to touch base with all of our students,” said Addison.
Addison says kids who need additional support or have bigger concerns will come to the top as they look at results from the screener. She says children have been through a life-changing experience and that their routines and connections with others have changed.
“Adults are very stressed, kids have also then picked up on those stresses so now is a very important time to make sure that we’re connecting with our kids and seeing what it is that’s on their mind, what’s worrying them, and then how we might support them,” said Addison.
One of the questions on the screener for Middle and High School students is directly related to COVID-19 according to Addison.
“A lot of the screener is really focused on mental health and well-being, students resiliency, but also their connections to other kids and adults who might be sources of support for them,” said Addison.
MAPS has in-house resources available for children and families. School counselors and other staff are trained in social-emotional learning, they also have a school social worker.
“That gives us a chance to see what sorts of things we can do for individual students or for our students as a whole, or for specific groups of students,” said Addison. “Additionally, we have our connections to the community, lots of great resources in our area that we can support kids and families.”
Addison says it’s important to check in with students so that they can make sure kids and families are aware of resources that are available to them.
“To let them know that there are people in the school who do care about them in addition to the teachers,” said Addison. “And that we are being very intentional in our relationship building and in our support with the kids.”
Students that are attending school in-person, virtually or in a hybrid model will be screened, but parents do have the option to allow their children to opt-out of the screener. The screening team includes some school counselors from all schools, assistant principals from the middle and high schools, the district social worker and the district psychologist.