- Orange County School District
A Message from Dr. Monique Felder
May 11, 2020
Thank you for all your hard work to keep our students learning and growing. We recognize that remote learning is new for all of us in Orange County Schools. Whether you’re creating a daily or weekly schedule that works best for you and your family or directly assisting your child with completing an assignment, thanks for your ongoing work and collaboration to support your child to continue to engage in daily learning.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month--and it certainly feels like we could all use a reminder about how to maintain and support good mental health right now. For me, I like to take long walks, exercise, read, collect and sometimes try new recipes, and talk with my family and colleagues around the country.
Our kids and teens may be feeling stressed, anxious, or uncertain about the world around them. This is completely normal, given the situation we are facing. They may even be behaving in ways you don’t fully understand, leading you to wonder what you can do to help.
The CDC shared guidance with parents on how to approach this time with our children. Suggestions from the CDC include acting as role models by taking care of ourselves, talking to them calmly and openly about the pandemic, and trying to maintain regular routines.
There are also state mental health resources available for any family that feels like they need a little extra support or counseling during this time. While this is certainly not something we expected, there are many great resources about helping children during disasters. I’ve copied a list of those resources for you at the end of my message. I hope you’ll look into them and use them if you or your family needs them.
Good News from Around the District
I also wanted to take a bit of time to celebrate some of the good things happening around the district. While not being together physically is hard, we are taking advantage of this time to fully clean many of our school buildings--and get a jump start on updating Orange High.
Many of you are likely aware that we are pursuing a long-term geothermal project to improve the sustainability of heating and cooling for that school building.
The project is moving along nicely during this time, and I’m pleased to share that we are:
- Installing mechanical systems that will lead to energy savings in the future
- Painting classrooms in the construction areas
- Upgrading light fixtures to improve their efficiency
We’re also adding some flair to Orange High with signs and banners that capture the school’s logo, motto and recent achievements. Flags are also being added that represent the numerous countries of the school’s student population. It’s great to see this work coming together for our students!
I can’t wait for you all to see it in person, but I’m including some pictures so you can see how the progress is coming!
Thank you for your continued support. Take care of yourselves and be well.
Dr. Monique Felder
Resources for helping children cope with emergencies:
- American Red Cross: Recovering After a Disaster or Emergency
- National Institute of Mental Health: Coping with Traumatic Events
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- The Emotional Impact of Disasters on Children and Families
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Children & Disasters
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: Coping with Disasters