responding to the covid pandemic
As COVID-19 continues to spread, our societal and familial norms seem ever-changing. It is now more important than ever to recognize and support the social and emotional needs of ourselves and the children and families we serve. Social emotional learning (SEL) is the key to navigating times of crisis and heightened experiences of stress and anxiety by helping us manage our emotions and solve complicated problems together. Youth-serving organizations are coming together to find innovative ways to safely and effectively meet the needs of children and their families.
At QTurn, we are committed to thoughtfully applying our organizational consulting, evaluation planning, and analytic services to support the important work of educators and youth service organizations by:
- Centering on SEL during the COVID-19 program closures. QTurn’s SEL framework is sensitive and flexible to the ways in which social and emotional learning are contextually enacted and promotes opportunities to positively impact the mental health and wellbeing of staff, family members, and children.
- Supporting transitions. Organizational services may look very different during the coming weeks and months, and evaluation strategies will need to adapt to meet the changing needs of children, families, and staff. QTurn can partner with your team to quickly design evaluation strategy for reimagined services during the COVID 19 episode, e.g., the emerging online afterschool curriculum.
- (Re)evaluation of impact. Organizations have been on a journey to nurture and develop the SEL skills of their students and then, in a few short weeks, programming stopped. QTurn’s Quality-Impact-Equity Design and Methods Toolbox can help your organization demonstrate the impact of your work on children’s SEL skills using data from past years.
- Continuing our conversations. We miss being able to connect with you in person, but continue to explore opportunities to be in touch. To this end, we will be providing a variety of meetings, speaking events, and trainings online. Please stay tuned for additional information on our website!
- Learning with you. We are committed to supporting your important work during this difficult time! Please find some resources on our website that we hope will be helpful. We will provide updates you as new information becomes available and will continue to wish you well!
Taking care of our mental health is critical during this time. The CDC has provided guidance for managing stress for the general public, parents, responders and those who have been infected or quarantined.
Below are a few additional publications that suggest different strategies for navigating our anxiety while children are not in school, and combating the loneliness we can feel while practicing social distancing.
Navigate Anxiety Caused by the Coronavirus Outbreak by Knellee Bisram, SEL Specialist and Mindfulness Teacher, Prime Time Palm Beach County
How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing By Kasley Killam, Scientific America
Parents, caregivers and children will be looking to the school districts and community organizations they know best to provide updates, resources and support. It is important that all communication from administrators to staff and families is clear and compassionate. Below are some resources for organizational leaders.
Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for Community Organizations and Leaders, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
10 strategies for online learning during a coronavirus outbreak by Jennifer Snelling and Diana Fingal, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Prioritizing Human Connection When Social Distancing Is the New Norm By Beth Rabbitt, Edsurge