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Dear Parent/Guardian,

This message is coming to you from the Counseling Service at BFCCPS.  Please be aware that we will be sending out periodic emails to provide whole school support while students are out of school.  BFCCPS 3rd-8th graders will also receive an email from our department soon. Below you will find ways to contact us if you or your child needs individual support.

With the news that schools will be closed for an extended period, we advise families to take care of their physical and mental health.  Please practice good hygiene, including hand washing, sneezing into elbows or tissues, and social distancing. Families should also make sure that they are getting enough sleep, nutritious foods, and physical activity. We recommend the following to maintain one's mental health during these unprecedented times:

Establish and follow consistent routines.  

  • For example, practice a school/weekend schedule.  Weekdays can include a morning routine, school activities, physical activity, downtime, and a regular bedtime routine.  Weekends can be saved for recreation.
  • Keep mealtimes, bedtimes, and routines the same. While some extra down time and video games is okay, remember the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than two hours of non-academic screen time per day.
  • If parents are working from home, we understand that your work/student balance will depend on your child(ren)’s age, need for support, and your work demands. We do not want academic activities to be stressful for parents or children.

Include family engagement activities (some may be suggested by your student’s teachers).  Have kids help with a meal (e.g., prep the salad), make treats (e.g., grandma’s famous cake), play tag, or look at old family photos.

Make sure that everyone takes movement breaks; jump rope, dance to music, follow a yoga video, play twister, or take a walk (assure social distancing).

While practicing Social Distancing, it is important to keep yourself and your children connected with others through other means.  Video Chat with grandparents, cousins, or friends. Middle schoolers should continue to use their social media to connect. 

Be creative: set up apps that include partner play, schedule a virtual cooking class with friends (with each home having same ingredients), or play Candyland with a friend (a game at each home).

Kids and parents may feel stressed or anxious during this time. These worries can look like irritability, tears, restlessness, withdrawal, clinginess, sleeplessness, etc. To help your child(ren) we recommend the following:

  • Find time to relax and practice soothing activities (e.g., yoga, listening to music, watching a favorite movie together).
  • Minimize the exposure to outside information. For example, turn off the news, limit social media, keep adult conversations out of earshot of children.
  • Provide extra love and physical contact (when everyone is healthy).  
  • Let your child(ren) express their worries. Be understanding and validate those feelings.  Then let them know how you are there to keep them safe and how these measures are there to help.
  • Keep your own stress in check, as kids look to us on how to manage stressful situations. Seek support as needed.

Below are resources that we believe will be useful for you to review:

While the school is closed, the Counseling Services team will be available for support and checking email daily.  We will be sending out weekly emails with helpful hints or activities for your children.  

Mrs. Stratton
School Counselor for Grades K-2 : General Education Students and Students with 504 Plans 
Weekly emails to K-2 parents

Mrs. McCoy
School Counselor for Grades 3-8 : General Education Students and Students with 504 Plans 
Weekly emails to 6-8 students and parents

Dr. Flieger
School Psychologist for Grades K-8 Students with IEPs
Weekly emails to 3-5 students and parents

Take care,

Mrs. Stratton, Mrs. McCoy, and Dr. Flieger

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
500 Financial Park, Franklin