Elwood’s guidance department hosts Q&A
Teachers, staff, students and parents are all learning to adapt to a new educational environment as schools remain closed to help curb the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, each have faced new challenges and stressors. That’s why Elwood-John H. Glenn High School guidance professionals – Carolyn Pollina, Lisa Sallie, Christiana Dobra and Janine Ferrante – hosted the first of what is expected to be several virtual presentations to discuss coping strategies and mindfulness activities.
In the first presentation, the professionals tackled topics including time management, diet and exercise, virtual socialization and, for high school seniors, college decisions.
To successfully manage time at home, Ms. Dobra recommended abiding by a schedule with designated time slots for work, homeschooling and relaxation. She reminded parents to set an alarm, shower, get dressed and even throw on a bit of makeup.
To help ease daily anxieties, Ms. Sallie advised students, teachers and parents to limit their intake of COVID-19 related news to an hour per day. Additionally, she recommended that parents confide in a friend or relative and suggested that students reach out to their school social workers or psychologist to help manage daily stressors.
While gyms are closed, Ms. Ferrante reminded individuals that it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. She pointed to outdoor activities like bike riding and walking, and noted that many gyms are even offering online exercise classes.
For students, mandated school closures have postponed and canceled many important milestone events. For high school seniors that have not had an opportunity to visit college campuses, Ms. Pollina explained that many colleges and universities are now offering virtual campus tours. She also reminded students that school counselors are still available to help narrow down their college choices or navigate financial aid.
To conclude their presentation, the counselors hosted a Q & A, during which they tackled topics such as regents, Advanced Placement and SAT exams. The team is planning to host more presentations in the near future and are encouraging students to submit questions to their emails.
“We want to navigate through this with you,” Ms. Pollina said. “Know that we miss you all and we look forward to seeing you soon.”
Video courtesy of Elwood Union Free School District