Counselor's Corner Archives

2021

  • October

    National Bullying Prevention Month: Tips on How to Deal With Bulllying

    Dear York Prep Community,

    As we move right along into another school year, we’d like to highlight that October is National Bullying Prevention Month. National Bullying Prevention Month was founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bully Prevention Centers. Throughout the month of October, communities nationwide unite together to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. 

    The first step in addressing any problem is awareness. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among students that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.  Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.  Bullying can also take place through technology, known as cyberbullying.  Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

    At York Prep we have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. We encourage an inclusive community in which students support and motivate one another. However, if a student has experienced some of these unwanted actions towards them, we highly encourage them to speak up. The school counselors and deans work closely to address and find solutions to any instances of bullying. If you or someone you know may be a victim of bullying, please consider the following: 

    • Bullying directly affects students’ ability to learn. According to the Center for Disease Control, students who are bullied are more likely to experience low self-esteem and isolation, perform poorly in school, have few friends in school, have a negative view of school, experience physical symptoms, and experience mental health issues.
    Read More
  • September

    Transitioning Back to Full-time, In-person School

    Dear York Prep Community,
     
    We hope you all had a wonderful summer! We are so excited to return to school wide in-person learning. Please join us in welcoming Ms. Alison Kaslow to the Wellness team!
     
    We are aware the transition back to full-time school may be challenging for some. Heading back to school is always a big event. This fall, in addition to students returning to school, some parents are going back to offices, making big changes for some families. For our students, it will mean returning  to school-related activities and expectations suspended during remote learning. 
    Although most students will be excited to return, especially those who remained remote since the beginning of the pandemic, some may experience challenges. The full impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health will take time to understand. They may experience anxiety, complain of feeling stressed, describe feeling nervous or having difficulty concentrating.  It is important for us to continue to monitor their emotional well-being. We recommend that you check in regularly with your child about their thoughts and feelings related to school. These are normal reactions to a traumatic year.
     
    Parents can help teens cope with stress in the following ways:
     
    • Be aware of your child’s stress and monitor if it’s affecting their behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
    • Listen carefully to your child and watch for “emotional overloading” (ie. feeling overwhelmed, panicked, expressing fear)
    • Learn and encourage stress management techniques
    • Encourage involvement in exercise, sports and other social activities.
     
    Read More
  • June

    Taking Time for Self-Care This Summer

    Dear York Prep Students & Families,                                                                            
     
    Congratulations on making it through another school year! When faced with adversity, you demonstrated resilience and stayed the course. We are so proud of the hard work and commitment you displayed this year. Now that finals are behind us and summer is upon us, it’s time for some much needed self care. It’s vital to your well being that you take this time to rest, recharge and be intentional about taking care of yourself. The practices we cultivate in the summer months prepare us for the year ahead and can also be called upon when the deadlines and stressors of school resurface. Unsure of where or how to get started? Here is a list of suggestions you can try. We encourage you to incorporate at least one if not all of these practices into your daily routine.

    1. Transfer treatment to accommodate your summer schedule
    If you are in therapy or some type or treatment at school, it’s important to think about what you will do over the summer. Talk with your therapist or other provider about what they think is best for you. There are different options available when it comes to transferring treatment such as: video or phone sessions with current provider, find a therapist where you are going if you’re traveling or doing a summer program or take a break from therapy for the summer months

    Read More
  • May

    Mental Health Awareness Month

    Dear York Prep Community,
     
    May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Unfortunately, every year millions of Americans face the reality of living with mental illness. During the month of May NAMI (National Alliance On Mental Health) raises awareness about mental health. Their organization helps fight the stigma of mental illness, provides support, educates the public, and advocates for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
     
    Please see the below slideshow to learn more about mental health awareness and how to support the young people in your life.
     
     
    Best,
    Ms. Evelyn Rowe-Cosentino and Ms. Lizzy Aiello
     
    Read More
  • April

    Four Ways to Help Your Children Build Resilience Through Understanding Their Emotions

     Dear York Prep Community,                                                                      

    We have surpassed the one year anniversary since the pandemic began. With the passing of time, children have been tested on how to manage an array of challenging emotions. Many students report feeling lonelier than usual and losing connection with their peers, academics, co-curriculars, and hobbies. As caregivers and educators, our first instinct is to reassure our children and sweep away their worries. However, there is another route that may serve them better in the long run. We can take this moment to help our children embrace duality; emotions can be both good and bad. A child who understands their emotions will be better prepared to deal with challenging situations in the future. In fact, our children may find that if they can withstand emotional discomfort, they will come out of this pandemic with more freedom then they had  before.  Here are some tips we can use to help our children make room for uncomfortable emotions.
     
    Practice Tolerating Uncomfortable Emotions: Uncomfortable emotions serve a purpose. If you encountered a bear in the wilderness, anxiety and fear would be a normal emotional response alerting us there is danger. We can teach our children that just because they feel fear or nervousness, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. If we avoid the discomfort, we may be exacerbating the problem. If we face the fear (when it’s safe to do so), we can show our children how capable they are and in turn boost their confidence. Teach your child how to use uncomfortable situations as opportunities for growth.
     
    Read More
  • March

    What Is SEL and Why Is It Important?

    Dear York Prep Community,                                                                                           
     
    Over the past few years we’ve been hearing terms such as the whole child, social emotional learning (SEL) and character education. What is social emotional learning and why is it important? Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a methodology that helps students of all ages to better understand their emotions, to feel those emotions fully, and demonstrate empathy for others. These learned behaviors are then used to help students make positive, responsible decisions; create frameworks to achieve their goals, and build positive relationships with others and students in their communities. Here at York, when students are in grades 6-8 they attend community classes. One of those sections is Mentoring, where the focus is on Social Emotional Learning. As a community, we value character and believe reinforcing these skills will help our students beyond their academic life to make good choices as adults. Below are the five core competencies of SEL:
     
    Self Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand how your emotions, thoughts, and values impact your behavior.
     
    Self Management: The ability to regulate your emotions, thoughts, and behavior in varying situations as well as motivate yourself to cope with stress. 
     
    Social awareness: The ability to understand other points of view, show empathy, respect diversity, and understand social norms. This skill enables relationships/friendships to thrive.
     
    Relationship skills: The ability to build and maintain healthy and fulfilling relationships with others. While we are wired for relationships, connection, and community, these skills need to be developed. The focus is on listening to and being able to communicate with others, peacefully resolving conflict, and knowing when to ask for or offer help.
     
    Making responsible decisions: The ability to think about how what you do impacts yourself and others. Learning how to make constructive choices about how to act or respond to a situation based on learned behaviors such as ethics, safety , weighing consequences and well-being of others, as well as yourself.
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  • February

    Encouraging a Positive Back-To-School Transition

    Dear York Prep Community,
     
    The pandemic has caused major disruptions to daily life, and children are feeling these changes deeply. While the return to school will be not only welcome and exciting for many students, others may be feeling anxious or frightened. Levels of anxiety and stress may be high, and caregivers play an influential role in helping their children cope. Encouraging a positive back-to-school transition can help reduce a child’s anxiety and worries. Here are tips to help navigate some of the complicated emotions students may be facing about going back to school.
     
    Keep lines of communication open. Students may feel nervous or reluctant to return to school especially if they have been learning at home for months. Be honest in conversations with them. For example, talking through some of the changes they can expect at school.

    Create a pros & cons list. What is working for you with remote or in person learning? What is not? What are circumstances that are specific to you and your family? Write these down.
     
    Reinforce the positives. Students may feel excited about seeing friends and teachers (if they are physically returning to the classroom), enjoy time away from home and switching up the routine.

    Empower them to make healthy decisions. Taking precautions (such as face masks, frequent hand washing, physical distancing, etc.) at school will help to keep them and their families safe, and instill a sense of control during these uncertain times.

    Support a flexible mindset.
    Letting your kids know ahead of time that schools may need to close again will help them to be prepared for the period of adjustment ahead.

    Respect others’ decisions but know what is right for you. We all handle the news differently. You may know someone stocking up on masks and paper goods; others may be continuing to see many of their friends. Let them go about their business, and think about what you need to do for you, your family and your own physical and emotional well-being.

    Be patient with yourself.  The pandemic has been a marathon of adjustments and now that we’ve all gotten comfortable with staying home and living our lives online, it can be challenging to return to school IRL. Show yourself some grace as we transition away from being at home and re-adjust to being in the physical presence of teachers & peers.
    Read More
  • January

    Helping Your Child To Navigate Remote Learning

    Dear Parents,
     
    As we respond to the increasing COVID-19 positivity rates in New York City, we continue to think of our students and want to share some resources on how best to support them with remote learning.


    Establish a schedule
    Help your child establish a schedule for remote learning. This provides students with a sense of predictability of what to expect each day. It also promotes healthy sleep schedules, nutrition, and physical health.
     
    Establish a dedicated space for school
    If space permits, it is recommended that students have a designated space for remote school. It is important to keep this space organized so students have access to what they need throughout the school day. Headphones can be helpful to reduce distractions.
     
    Incorporate “transitions”
    In our pre-covid lives, we had many transitions throughout our day such as the commute to and from school, the ring of the school bell between classes, a lunch break, etc. to delineate a change in events and shifted mindset. Encourage your children to incorporate transitions into their day when possible. For example, at the end of the school day, go for a walk to help shift the energy from classes onto evening routines, hobbies and play.
     
    Validate their experiences
    Providing validation about your child’s experiences can make them feel supported. Provide opportunities for your child to share their thoughts and feelings with you about remote learning.
     
    Read More
< 2021