Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced “Bridge to School,” a Citywide initiative for the 2020-21 school year focused on the social and emotional well-being of students and adults in order to create a safe, supportive learning environment that confronts the trauma caused by the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, schools will be equipped to integrate trauma-informed practices into school reopening, and build off of last year’s major expansion of mental health supports in schools.
The Department of Education is partnering with the Child Mind Institute for this initiative to offer additional supports for school-based staff this fall, including webinars and workshops, videos and print materials to support social-emotional learning in the classroom, and a helpline for educators to receive additional guidance and support. The helpline will be available Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm starting September 21st and these resources will remain available to educators through the end of 2020.
Funding for the “Bridge to School” initiative was secured by the Fund for Public Schools from the Robin Hood, Gray, and Tiger foundations.
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Carranza also said there would be a helpline with The Child Mind Institute to assist teachers as they implement the initiative.
“We will launch a helpline for educators and school staff to call to consult on best practices in classroom strategies for assisting students with their mental health and wellness, staffed by mental health professionals, this hotline will help schools get immediate answers to urgent questions and concerns that they have for their students,” he said.
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The city will also launch a hotline with the help of the Child Mind Institute for educators and school staff to call and receive consultation from “mental health professionals” on the best practices and classroom strategies for helping students with mental health or wellness issues.
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Additionally, the Child Mind Institute, a national nonprofit that focuses on youth and families dealing with mental health and learning disorders, will help staff a hotline for educators who have questions about these best social-emotional practices, officials said. This organization is also creating more training resources and classroom materials for schools.
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Addressing trauma will be an ongoing need, and so the philanthropic support will also enable the DOE to partner with the Child Mind Institute to offer additional supports for school-based staff this fall, including webinars and workshops, videos and print materials to support social-emotional learning in the classroom, and a helpline for educations to receive additional guidance and support. The helpline will be available Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm starting September 21st and these resources will remain available to educators through the end of 2020.