Social Emotional Learning
An important element of District 109’s commitment to the whole child is attention to the social-emotional needs and health of each of our students. Students develop social and emotional skills through effective classroom instruction, student engagement in positive activities in and out of school. Each school has individualized programing designed to enhance social emotional development. For students who may need some additional supports, there is a school social worker and psychologist assigned to each school. Additionally, each middle school has a school counselor. These professionals are available to any student and parent. Please contact your child’s school if you wish to speak to a clinical professional.
Resources for Supporting Students
Here are resources that the District believes will help staff members, parents, and other caring adults support the children in our community:
- Building Resiliency
- Supporting Children’s Mental Health: Tips for Parents and Educators
- The Family Institute at Northwestern University (counseling services and referrals)
The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has sparked conversations in our community and across the country about the issue of teen suicide. The fictional miniseries is based on a book in which a high school student leaves behind tape recordings detailing why she took her own life. The show depicts strong and graphic themes of suicide, bullying, sexual assault, drug use and other social issues. Parents, grandparents and caregivers should be aware this series is popular among middle school students, and how their viewing might impact them. If you have not already done so, please check with your children to see if they are viewing this show.
Even though the series is fictional, some young people may have a difficult time discerning fiction from reality. The series is rated MA for mature audiences and may not be appropriate for all students. Our counselors and social workers note that students who may have vulnerabilities to this content include those with any mental health issues, those who demonstrate at-risk behaviors, and those who have had suicidal thoughts.
Suicide Prevention Resources
The District has partnered with Elyssa’s Mission to bring suicide prevention education to staff, parents and students beginning in the fall of 2017. The organization is a valuable local source of information about suicide prevention, and we encourage parents to access the many resources found on their website. Elyssa’s Mission provided this handout on suicide risk factors, warning signs and resources at a presentation to parents and community members in June 2017. Here is a version of the presentation:
Text-A-Tip is a resource for pre-teens and teenagers to reach out for help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers a 24/7 hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) as well as an online crisis chat.
The following additional resources may help guide conversations with your child at home, and provide direct contacts if you need assistance. Of course, don’t hesitate to contact the counselor or social worker at your child’s school for support on this important issue.
- Risk Factors
- "13 Reasons Why" Season 2: Information from National Association of School Psychologists
- “13 Reasons Why” Talking Points
- National Association of School Psychologists: “13 Reasons Why” Considerations
- Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents and Educators
- Save a Friend: Tips Teens to Prevent Suicide
- Suicide Prevention Services
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Trusted guide to mental, emotional & social health