In less than two weeks, students in the Bakersfield City School District will be heading back to school working to adjust to being back in class at home. To help ease the transition, the BCSD board held a town hall meeting on mental, social, and emotional learning. 23ABC's Kylie Walker joined in on the virtual meeting.
Students will move forward this school year with distance learning for at least the first quarter and as school officials said they know this can be a challenging time for both students and parents. On Wednesday night BCSD held a meeting to go over the resources that will be available for them during this time.
Deputy Superintendent Mark Luque and Dr. Tim Fullenwider hosted a meeting to talk about mental health as students transition into distance learning to start off the school year, encouraging parents to utilize any support offered by the school.
"A lot of our kids need a lot of support. We have to work together to ensure that we are talking about mental health issues and reaching out to school staff for assistance, and working together to support our students," said Luque.
The school district established a multi-tiered system of support, including behavioral health therapists, psychologists, and school social workers. Also available virtually will be a downloadable app called Sprigeo, which allows parents and students the 24-hour ability to report bullying and safety concerns.
"Our transition from summer break to a virtual learning experience may trigger some of these behaviors," said school psychologist Adrianna Frausto.
Officials also reminded parents to look out for social and emotional warning signs within their children that include changes in behaviors or in thoughts and feelings. For example thoughts of self-harm or hopelessness and irritability. Adriana Fraw-Stow, a school psychologist, said other warning signs include physical changes or regression.
School officials also establish a consistent daily routine, keep an open communication, and talk to the school district about potential needs.