Month: May 2020

From states’ reopening plans to federal emergency aid, the U.S. response to the novel coronavirus pandemic has “focused on the health and economic effects facing adults,” and top pediatricians argue child wellness and school reopening plans must be included in discussions for the nation’s recovery.

Youth-serving professionals buffer our young people from adversity, help to ignite their interests, connect them to opportunities, and provide emotional support and safety. When these relationships are threatened by the need for physical distance, our children suffer, especially the most vulnerable. We must recognize just how essential these professionals are to the growth and well-being of America’s young people—and treat them that way.

Many school districts are still deciding whether they should try to offer summer school in person or online, whether they should dramatically expand the number of students who attend, and whether the program should focus squarely on catching students up in core subjects. At the same time, some cities have announced that summer job programs will be canceled, and many beaches, pools and parks may also be closed.

The School District of Philadelphia launched a mental health hotline called Philly HopeLine on May 7 for children and families. It will be staffed by counselors from the Uplift Center for Grieving Children. Philly Hopeline can be accessed at 1-833-PHLHOPE (1-833-745-4673) every Monday-Friday from noon to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

Someone with a positive STEM mindset necessarily possesses a growth mindset, uses 21st-century skills and has a set of problem solving, life related skills (habits of mind). However, growth mindset, 21st-century skills, and habits of mind are not discipline-specific—they benefit anyone, regardless of the subject studied or career pursued. So, where does STEM come in? Someone with a STEM mindset sees the potential of STEM to be valuable and relevant to their lives and communities and in the world.

Nearly one-third of teachers (29.2%) in the United States are ages 50 and older, according to new research by the National Center for Education Statistics. Teachers have significantly more social contacts than the average adult does. Because older people are at elevated risk for severe illness from COVID-19, schools need to consider the risks for teachers as they consider reopening.

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