Help for kids in a COVID world

GGUSD Education Center (OC Tribune photo).

Garden Grove Unified School District is preparing to begin the 2020-2021 school year with a “Start Strong” initiative that is designed to provide students with new social-emotional wellness supports. The initiative will equip teachers with instructional resources to ensure that the first three weeks of school are focused on the social-emotional needs of GGUSD’s 41,000 students across 67 schools.

The need for social-emotional support is more important now than ever. GGUSD recognizes that the experiences of a world pandemic have affected all of its students in some way. A GGUSD team of school psychologists, social workers, nurses, speech and language pathologists, and instructional leaders developed learning modules, videos, and other resources to support student well-being specific to each grade level.

“We want our students to feel cared for as they manage a variety of emotions resulting from a historic pandemic and months of distance learning,” said Teri Rocco, Board of Education vice president. “We empathize with students and want to support them in building relationships with classmates and teachers in a virtual setting.”

“Start Strong” learning modules will empower students with tools to process emotional hardships and reduce barriers to learning, while working to establish a safe and supportive learning environment that promotes social emotional learning.

The main goals of Start Strong are to ensure that:

  • each student feels welcome and supported at school (in person and/or virtual)
  • students have space to share and process feelings
  • teachers build on students’ strengths to foster growth in their personal skills
  • school staff work towards building and maintaining positive relationships with students

Start Strong topics include COVID-19 prevention and awareness, healthy relationships, self care and stress management, digital citizenship, and more. GGUSD plans to continue embedding and integrating social-emotional learning throughout the school year to support our students.

The GGUSD serves most of Garden Grove and parts of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.


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