Family Letter

Dear Families,
            We hope this letter finds you and your family safe, healthy, and in high spirits! In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19, and in efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, Student Support Services (School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, and English Language Coordinators) will be working remotely and checking email regularly during school hours.  We want to assure you that we are here to support the academic, social/emotional, resource referral, and college/career needs of students during this time of uncertainty.  Please know, we are unable to provide crisis care or address urgent emotional matters at this time.  If urgent support is needed, contact the Access and Crisis Line at 1-888-724-7240.  
            We have been collaborating with administrators to prepare information, resources, and creative ways to stay connected with you. Many of these resources are available on the SMUSD and school websites. We want to provide information on the various ways that you and your student can connect with us.  
            We are making ourselves available in the following ways:
            School Psychologist (Sagi Mesa-Jones) office hours will be Monday-Friday 12:30-3:30. You can reach her via email at sagi.mesa-jones@smusd.org or (442) 245-7866. She is available to answer any questions/check-ins related to special education supports.
            Social Social Worker (Mercedes MaCall) office hours will be Monday-Friday 12:30-3:30. You can reach her via email: mercedes.macall@smusd.org or (760) 407-6917. If you would like her to CHECK-IN ONLY with your child, please submit a referral under the Student Referral Links Tab. Please make sure to select Parent/Guardian School Social Worker Referral Form.  She is also available to help with any resources you or your family may need. 
            Virtual support can be provided as a virtual check-in with the student, a consultation with the family on strategies to use within the home, or a referral to community resources.
            A Student Check-in Is: a short conversation with a student to check-in on how they are doing, an opportunity to connect and express empathy or discuss coping strategies, a method to monitor their stress reaction, and available to all students.
            A Student Check-in Is Not: crisis hotline counseling, telehealth therapy, or weekly and ongoing counseling session.
            We will set up virtual meetings using the Google virtual platform as needed to address questions and provide check-ins. Please understand we will need to use a virtual platform in order to avoid staff using their personal phone. In this virtual environment, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.  Please read the following information about potential risks and expectations when utilizing virtual support services:
            
            1.I understand that there are risks, benefits, and consequences associated with virtual school-based counseling including but not limited to, disruption of transmission by technology failures, interruption and/or breaches of confidentiality by unauthorized persons, and/or limited ability to respond to emergencies.   

            2. If a safety concern arises, our steps may include making contact with the parent/guardian and providing resources, calling local law enforcement to conduct a wellness check, or calling for emergency responders to assess for safety. 

            3. I understand that there will be no recording of any of the online sessions by either party. 

            4. I will assist my child in finding a space that will allow for as much privacy as possible. I will have my child use headphones if possible.

            5. If the session is interrupted due to technology issues, the SSW will attempt to resume the session. If that is unsuccessful, the SSW/ will email either me or my student to reschedule the meeting.

            6. At the start of each meeting the SSW will ask for a call back number, the current location/address of my child, and the name of someone with him/her that the SSW could contact if an emergency occurs during the meeting.   

            7.While the setting of the meeting has changed, the same behavior expectations remain such as, treating each other with respect, being engaged and present within the meeting, and being dressed appropriately for video meetings. Meetings may need to be ended and rescheduled if these expectations are not met. 
            
            Please know your Student Support staff are ready, willing, and able to assist students, families, and our community during this unprecedented time.  We look forward to connecting with you soon!


Be well,
            Student Services Support team