Counselor Corner April 2020 

Dear Husky Pup families, 

Words cannot describe how much I miss each of my students and their families. I am looking forward to connecting with you next week with a Thoughtful Thursday which will be sent out to all and guidance lessons from Seesaw and Dojo. Please feel free to email me during the school day. I have a Chrome book I am learning how to navigate and check my messages often. I am also sending a sheet from the State Department which gives some ways you can share with your children about COVID-19 and signs to look for when children are distressed. It is broken down in age groups. This is something you may choose to use or not. We are all learning new ways to adapt and living our best during this difficult time. I am looking forward to hearing from you and assisting you in any way I am able. 

Sincerely, 

Tracy Hill School
Counselor Northern Hills Elementary
tracy.hill@edmondschools.net 

 

 

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO DISCUSS COVID-19 WITH STUDENTS? All people are involved in efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students, educators, families, and communities need to be aware of the facts and have knowledge surrounding the infectious outbreak. 

WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE DISCUSSION? Families and educators should remember to keep the conversation appropriate to the child’s developmental age. Include the facts using age appropriate terminology, actively listen to concerns, and answer their questions as best as you can. It’s okay to let them know if you are unsure of the answer. 

OFFICE OF STUDENT SUPPORT, OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 3.23.2020

HOW TO COMMUNICATE INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 TO STUDENTS 

TALKING POINTS HELPFUL RESOURCES 

Stay calm and reassuring 

Ask what they know or have heard 

Keep children updated with facts 

Be honest and available for discussions 

Allow children to express their feelings 

Validate their feelings 

Limit media exposure 

Clarify misinformation or misunderstandings such as Stigmas and Racial Inaccuracies and Historical Context 

REACTIONS TO CONSIDER FROM STUDENTS DURING AN INFECTIOUS OUTBREAK Age Group Reactions 

caused by stress and anxiety How to Help 

 

Preschool 

Fear of being alone, clingy with trusted adults 

Speech difficulties, physical aches and pains 

Patience and tolerance 

Provide verbal and physical reassurance of safety 

Encourage expression through play, reenactment, story-telling, and drawing 

Talking to Students about Coronavirus/COVID-19 

Family and Educators Resources 

National Association of School Psychologist (NASP) Talking with Children about Coronavirus (COVID-19): Parent Resource 

Child Mind Institute Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus Includes a how-to-video on talking with children 

Zero to Three Early Connections Last a Lifetime Answering Your Young Child’s Questions About Coronavirus Age appropriate responses for children 0-3 

Talking to Students about Coronavirus/COVID-19 Family and Educators Resources 

Expresses fears through stories or play 

Change in appetite 

Increased temper tantrums, whining, or being withdrawn 

Allow short-term changes in sleep arrangements 

Model self-care, eat and provide healthy meals, maintain good sleep routines. 

Plan calming, comforting activities before bedtime 

Maintain regular family routines 

 

Elementary Children (Ages 6-10) 

Patience, tolerance, and reassurance 

Play sessions and staying in touch with friends through telephone and Internet 

Be present and tolerant 

Regular exercise and stretching 

Participate in structured household tasks 

Engage in educational activities 

Discuss the current outbreak and encourage questions. Talk about what they have seen/heard online or in the media 

Include what is being done in the family and community 

Encourage expression through play and conversation 

Help create ideas for enhancing health promotion behaviors and maintaining family routines 

Middle and High School Adolescents (Ages 11-19) 

Irritability, whining, aggressive behavior 

Clingy with trusted adults 

Nightmares 

Sleep/appetite disturbance 

Physical symptoms (headaches, stomachaches) 

Withdrawal from peers, loss of interest 

Competition for family/parents’ attention 

Forgetfulness about chores and new information learned 

Physical symptoms (headaches, 

Encourage self-care by modeling healthy eating, rashes, etc.) 

exercise, good sleep hygiene, deep breathing and meditation Sleep/appetite disturbance 

Allow time to unwind 

Agitation or decrease in energy, 

Encourage connecting with others apathy 

Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, Ignoring health promotion 

exercise and eat well behaviors 

Reassure safety. Let your children know it is okay 

Isolating from peers and loved 

to be upset and scared. Share with them how you deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way ones 

Concerns about stigma and injustices 

OFFICE OF STUDENT SUPPORT, OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 3.23.2020

 

RECOURCES TO SUPPORT STUDENTS WELL-BEING 

Parent/Caregiver Guide for Helping Families Cope with COVID-19. (2020). The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. 

Talking with Children:Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

Bartlett, Griffin, J,Thomson,D. Resources for Supporting Children’s’ Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Outbreak. (2020). Child Trends. 

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network and SAMHSA 

Talking to Students about Coronavirus/COVID-19 Family and Educators Resources 

OFFICE OF STUDENT SUPPORT, OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 3.23.2020