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From Julie Craven

Dear RAUC Families,

The end of the school year is coming, with lots of fun activities planned. You can see details of events throughout this newsletter.

End of year can also be anxiety-producing for many of our students. Alice Cohen, district Lead Teacher in Charge of Social-Emotional Learning, shared insights on these emotions with staff, to remind us that behaviors we are seeing may be rooted in complex emotions students might not even be aware they are experiencing. She also provided suggestions of conversations to have with students to help them process these emotions. I am copying her thoughts below, as you might find them useful in your own interactions with your student.

“Students are becoming anxious about big transitions looming ahead, possible ending of friend groups, leaving places they have been for a long time, losing daily contact with important adults. This can cause changes in behavior related to the stress of leaving. Termination regression, reverting to oppositional or defiant behavior, and consolidating as a group against the adults are not uncommon. With external support/structure, adults can frame this process as a transitional celebration, a Good Goodbye, which, for some students, may be an antidote to many not so good or abrupt goodbyes they have experienced.”

Conversation starters Alice Cohen suggests:

  • “What is the first memory about being at this school that pops into your head?’
  • (Go round after each question. Listen for commonalities and point these out to the group)
  • “Anyone else have that memory, like your first day or first teacher?”
  • “What is it like to be thinking about leaving?” “What will you miss?” “Not miss?”
  • “What have you learned about your own strengths and skills while you were here?
  • “How about the strengths and things you will miss about each other?”
  • “When people think about you after you have gone, what would you like them to remember about you?”
  • “Do you have particular teachers you want to have a good goodbye with?”
  • (Encourage students to have conversations w/teachers/staff in between groups and then come back and share these with one another. Be sure to let the community know that students may be doing this!)

Please reach out to Ms. Boadu or your student’s advisory teacher if you feel your student needs more support in order to end the year strongly.

Peace,

Julie Craven, Head of School