News and Information from the Fairview Park City Schools Counseling Department
Dear Parents & Guardians, 

We hope spring break gave you and your family the opportunity to "unplug" and find meaningful ways to spend time with one another. We hope that your child's transition back to remote learning was smooth and that the tools being utilized by teachers makes communication and learning more accessible. 

These times are stressful for everyone. Our kids miss their friends and being engaged in classroom learning. One significant way to alleviate the stress families and our students are facing is by promoting routine and a daily schedule. While remote learning offers some flexibility, approaching each day differently undoubtedly causes stress and anxiety for many. Not only do our students have a responsibility to complete their homework assignments in a way that is in many ways foreign to them, parents feel great stress to support this learning. A big factor of maintaining a daily routine and schedule is student accountability; that is, the choices and decision-making of our students. 

Children often have a lot of expectations to meet. They have trouble being accountable because they have difficulty managing their tasks in an organized way. A schedule allows them to do this. Keep in mind that some children will become overwhelmed with a schedule containing many steps. In that case, limit the schedule to the few most important things you want the child to accomplish, or cover up steps, only revealing a few steps at a time.

Allow your child to participate in the creation of a home schedule. At school, schedules are often created by the teacher, but allow the children in your class to participate if possible. Once the schedule is created, review it thoroughly with the child to the best of their ability to ensure understanding.

To reinforce the schedule, acknowledge the child's efforts when they follow it (e.g., great job with your schedule tonight , nice work following your schedule , you were so responsible completing your schedule today , etc.).  It all depends on the child though. Some children respond best to verbal praise, others to gestures or physical praise, while some children may seem to not respond to praise at all or may not like certain kinds of praise. For children who seem to show no emotion when you praise them, continue to do so anyway because their response on the outside may not match the feeling they get from praise on the inside. Experiment to see what works or doesn't work for your child.

For any child following a schedule, you can tie privileges to the completion of the schedule. For example, you can tell the child that he can pick a special activity of his choice once he has completed the schedule or after completing the schedule accurately for a certain number of days.
Below, please find a video on the "why" behind a schedule. While this video is long, it provides an excellent explanation and will undoubtedly support families struggling with negative child behavior as a result of inconsistency in routine.


High Schoolers may operate much differently! Often they will sleep later which means they may work much later! As long as the work is getting done that's OK!

Parents: Give yourself grace! You are trying your best during a time when you're facing your own stress and responsibilities. Do what you can, when you can. If you are struggling to access content, please maintain open communication with your child's teacher as they want to best support their students and YOU! Furthermore, if you would like to speak directly to your child's school counselor, please call their number, provided below, and they will return your call as soon as possible.

Below, please find some additional resources and tools to promote schedules and routines that require student choice and decision-making, which promotes student accountability. 

High School Counselors:
Nora Walsh ( nwalsh@fairview.k12.oh.us ), (440)356-3500 x4102  
Jen Parente ( jparente@fairview.k12.oh.us ), (440)356-3500 x4103  

Middle School Counselor:
Mary Cory ( mcory@fairview.k12.oh.us ), (440)356-3510 x 3135

Elementary School Counselors:
Meredith Schulte ( mschulte@fairview.k12.oh.us ), (440)356.3525 x2102
Robin Schlesinger ( rschlesinger@fairview.k12.oh.us ), (440)356-3525 x 3128
Erin Monnot - School Counselor Intern ( emonnot@fairview.k12.oh.us

Promoting Choice & Decision-Making in Distance Learning

- Create a daily schedule with input from your child. Allow children to choose what they are working towards (reward) if they follow their daily schedule for a week. See example below. Blank template provided to adjust times and activities.



- Have students choose three daily chores to complete and what they're trying to earn (example: extra screen-time, choice of board game for family game night)

Decision-Making for Middle/High School Students:





Career Development
Of course, career exploration and development varies significantly from elementary to high school. Below, please find some resources and ideas in promoting career exploration with your child.

Career Development Resources and Activities


Elementary
Middle
High
Spend quality time with your child doing activities that build life skills (examples: cook, build something, plant) 
Create a list of 3 chores for your child to complete weekly to promote responsibility. 

Many families are experiencing a time with kids who are home from school for extended periods. There are, of course, positives and negatives to this.
 
Some good news-just because conventional school isn't happening, it doesn't mean that learning must stop. We have heard from some of our wonderful parents and guardians that they are having great results using this time to teach some practical life skills. What a great time for kids to get hands-on learning of tasks like cooking, changing a tire, doing laundry, banking, sewing, creating a resume, or playing a musical instrument!
 
What would happen if more young people emerged from this time feeling more capable and less dependent on adults? How many more kids could emerge from this time with great new skills that will serve them throughout life?
 
How might we identify good skills to work on during this time? Some parents take a look at things they WISH their kids knew how to do for themselves, depending on their kids' age and developmental level. They also look at tasks that might benefit the family or community while considering each kid's individual strengths and interests. One other guide to finding some good candidates for teaching skills-situations that kids might get into where skills are needed such as changing a flat tire or jump-starting a dead battery.
 
You know how to do all kinds of really cool stuff. Hopefully, you will get a chance during this time to share some of these practical life skills with the upcoming generation. Perhaps, in return, kids will teach the adults some new things as well.

We certainly don't mean to minimize the difficulty of this time for many people. However, we do believe in turning adversity to advantage. It is our sincere hope that you and the ones you love will be able to use this time to connect and to teach each other. Like generations before us, we may look back on these difficult days as cherished times of togetherness, resilience, and growth.

Goal-Setting




Resources for Parents/Guardians

Resources for Kids
Meet the Counselors! 
GILLES-SWEET ELEMENTARY


MAYER MIDDLE SCHOOL

FAIRVIEW HIGH SCHOOL 
Grades 9, 10 

FAIRVIEW HIGH SCHOOL
Grades 11 & 12 
In the event of an emergency, please call, text or tweet:
  • Fairview Park Police Department (440) 333-1234
  • Cuyahoga County Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline: (216) 623-6888
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Crisis Text Line: Text "Support" or "4hope" to 741741
  • Tweet at the Lifeline: @800273TALK
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