More Options

WCS Focuses on Mental Health

WCS Focuses on Mental Health

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our students haven’t had a normal school year since 2020 (when they were second and third graders)!. This interrupted not just their academics, but their social/emotional growth as well. While our students were incredibly flexible and resilient during this time, they did miss out on learning and practicing important social/emotional skills. That’s why we focused on mental health this school year. 

Students had to get used to being in the classroom everyday once again. To help facilitate the transition back into a typical school day, we focused on relationship building to drive academic success. Teachers worked hard to make the classroom a welcoming place. The counselors developed a “100 Ways to Connect” document for staff with activities to build connections in the classroom and sprinkle some fun into the school day.

We created Chillville to address the lack of academic stamina and students’ need for breaks. This multisensory calm down space was funded through our community PTA and the JT Fortin Foundation. The counselors also developed Chillville in a Box and Virtual Chillville for each classroom so that students could access these self-regulation tools without leaving the classroom and across settings, including home. These strategies were introduced to students during classroom lessons about stress and worry, and how they impact the brain and body. Learning how to manage these big emotions and using coping skills is an important life skill and helps students to stay in class and learn!

WCS students and staff held Mental Health Monday on the first Monday of each month to bring attention to the importance of mental health throughout the school year. This consisted of a theme and corresponding “spirit day” where students and staff could dress the part. Some of the monthly themes included focusing on your happy place, a special activity, and something that represents your goals. The counselors also led a “Mindful Minute” during each of the Mental Health Mondays. Some of the mindfulness activities included guided visualization, grounding exercises, and activities using the five senses. 

Adding some fun back into the school day was an important part of promoting emotional wellness. We hosted assemblies, The Great Kindness Challenge, Spirit Weeks, the Golden Table, and the ABC Countdown to the end of school. These activities helped to create a welcoming and inclusive school environment and made WCS a place students wanted to come to each day! 

For more information on how to support your student’s mental health, check out:

Virtual Chillville
How to Nurture Your Child's Mental Health
Strategies for a Successful Summer Break
Action for Happiness Calendar - Ideas for daily activities