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Letter to HMS Families
Joan Adler
Saturday, April 11, 2020

April 10, 2020

Dear HMS Families,

Please take some time to read the letter below, which was written by Jess Townsend, HMS social worker, in collaboration with Laura Mike, Michelle Napoli and Chelsea Beckett. I know you will find it useful as we move forward navigating this complex and unsettling time.

We are grateful to Jess for sharing this guidance and wisdom with us, and to our HMS school counselors and social workers for their ongoing support:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 As we learned this week that distance learning has been extended to the end of the year, we wanted to reach out to acknowledge the many losses and potential for increased stress that accompany this decision. While families have worked so hard to find their balance, which was at once thought to be very temporary, it is now settling in that this routine is for far longer than we had hoped. We may find ourselves already fatigued and tired of this momentary chapter.  

As you are likely aware, there are endless resources out there regarding how to take care of ourselves right now. Whether it is staying physically active, use of mindfulness or meditation, yoga, creativity with art, creating structure, modifying our intake of news and information, or staying connected with loved ones, there are many strategies online which can be practical and supportive. Here is a resource which summarizes some strategies that you may find useful: 

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/helping-children-cope-with-changes-resulting-from-covid-19 

Perhaps the greater and more nuanced challenge at this moment is tolerating the discomfort, and sitting with uncertainty. Our work at this time may be in part related to deepening our confidence and trust in ourselves with our ability to navigate this chapter fraught with so many hardships and loss. It may be that we need to practice forgiving ourselves for being imperfect parents, at home workers, and for feeling less patient with one another. Try to trust your gut in recognizing what you need to support yourself and to replenish your reserves when they feel empty, to allow you to continue to support your children and loved ones.  

We know we are individually and collectively going through an extraordinarily difficult time. Please remember we are here for you and your children, and are eager to support you. Please reach out to let us know what you need.  

Jessica Townsend, LCSW    Jess_Townsend@YarmouthSchools.org

Michelle Napoli, LCPC          Michelle_Napoli@YarmouthSchools.org

Laura Mike, NCSC                Laura_Mike@YarmouthSchools.org

Chelsea Beckett, NSCS        Chelsea_Beckett@YarmouthSchools.org