The Slice – Winter 2020/21

Supporting Wellness in Difficult Times

Wellness and support continues to be a core priority for PiE funding. This year has demonstrated just how important it is to provide wellness support through our schools. 

All PAUSD staff have been trained to identify students who are struggling with mental or emotional health issues and connect them to appropriate support, such as a counselor or school psychologist. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) continues to be a priority for staff and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) standards have been implemented for all grades (see: SEL: What Are the Core Competence Areas and Where are they Promoted). Secondary schools also use School-Connect in addition to providing wellness activities during the Self/Advisory period.

While some students have returned to campus, others have not. All of the counseling services have had to adapt to reach the students who need support. While teachers continue to connect with students, as they deliver their classes digitally or spend reduced time with students in the classroom, parents and caregivers may see challenges emerge at home. In this case, parents and caretakers, or the students themselves, may find that they wish to proactively seek out options. The number of referrals—both teacher and self-referrals—are up, as students experience increased depression and anxiety, in response to the pandemic and resulting isolation from peers. So what services are available, and how do students access them?

CASSY Counseling and Support Services

CASSY is a non-profit local organization, whose mission is to de-stigmatize mental health and provide continuity of support for students from kindergarten through completion of high school PAUSD has contracted with CASSY to provide mental health services and one-on-one counseling to PAUSD students since 2011. Traditionally conducted on campus, these sessions are available by phone or through Zoom for distance learners. 

Learn more about CASSY

Join us for a special event!
Positive Parenting: Young Children Adapting to COVID

CASSY Conselor
Betsy introduces Kimochi (Photo courtesy of CASSY)

PiE and CASSY are pleased to present an evening about strength and resilience in young children. Learn how adaptable your children are and how they have been coping through the pandemic. Find out how resourceful and resilient YOU are! Gain new skills to encourage them to be more flexible in this ever-changing environment. For parents of children from preschool to 1st grade.

Thursday, January 28, 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 984 3395 8329 / Passcode: CASSY

Finding support at…

…the elementary schools and middle schools

If your student needs one-on-one support, for issues such as anxiety, depression, grief and loss, or anger management, reach out to your child’s teacher, advisor, or the principal to discuss counseling options. CASSY counselors and school psychologists are available to support students. 

…Gunn and Paly

Wellness Centers at both high schools serve as central hubs for mental and emotional health. They now offer robust telehealth and online resources. Telehealth appointments are available by referral, by request, or through the open office hours. 

The Wellness Centers have been actively reaching out to students, via social media, weekly messages, videos, student publications, and collaboration with student organizations. Outreach to parents includes parent nights, parent workshops, and newsletters.

For Gunn and Paly parents: Parent’s Guide to Risk Assessment and Safety

For Paly parents: Paly Parent/Guardian guide

For Gunn students: Virtual Wellness Center

For Paly Students: Virtual Wellness Center

Drop in hours graphic

A quick gratitude practice to try at home:

Do you thank your family or household members regularly? Before you quickly walk away to the next task, take a moment next time you thank someone to pause and remember what you are appreciating. Take note of how it feels in your body.

Beyond PAUSD (and PiE)

For families who may need immediate help with any mental health concern, please consider the following resources:

  • Call 911 and request a C.I.T. (crisis intervention team) trained officer to assist you.
  • Crisis Text Line: text “home” to 741-741.
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
  • Bill Wilson Youth Hotline (24-hour Suicide & Crisis Line): 408-850-6125.
  • Trevor Lifeline LGBTQQ+ Crisis Support: 1-866-488-7386.

Santa Clara County Residents: 

  • Alum Rock Counseling Center: (408) 294-0579.
  • Uplift Family Services Mobile Crisis Line: (408) 379-9085.

San Mateo County Residents:

StarVista (650) 579-0350 for 24/7 phone crisis consultation for next steps

At PiE, we continue to be thankful for this community, and we want to wish you all a peaceful 2021.