WAUKESHA — Times are confusing and tough right now. As part of our continuing reports The Rebound Milwaukee, we share how school leaders in Waukesha are helping parents and students manage the pressure of school and their mental health.
A Waukesha Schools psychologist, who treats students at Prairie Elementary, is more focused than ever to make sure those vulnerable students succeed.
He says children are feeling stress from this pandemic is understandable.
“They're missing that connection. They're missing seeing their friends and missing their teachers too!” said Andrew Endsley, Waukesha Schools’ psychologist.
Endsley is focused on making sure the virtual world does not exasperate behavioral issues that were already there for the students he helps.
“That's something I really prioritize is just being a person who can show those students that I care about them. And I'm wondering how they're doing.”
One thing the district did immediately was to help students gain access to Wi-Fi, so as not to disrupt student’s routines.
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“We're truly trying to simulate as much of a real school day as we can, both with physical stuff, you know, you know, recessed gym class music class,” Endsley explained.
The district’s student services director know about of that real school day involves meals. There are seven sites parents can pick up free breakfast and lunch.
“So those have been very popular. I think we're averaging around 1,000 meals a day that we're giving out as well for that,” said Luke Pinion.
Officials hope these resources take some of the pressure off parents and provide some normalcy to students.
Endsley adds, “It's the best feeling I can possibly have right now because just to see their smile or you know the the brightness on their face.”
Because nothing is more important right now, than making sure everyone is healthy from the inside out.
Parents who are looking for help to navigate ways to manage their child’s stress, isolation and mental health can go onto the National Alliance on Mental Illness website. The organization created an entire section dedicated to COVID-19 coping skills. The organization’s resources are being used by Waukesha Schools for resources. There are resources listed for all of southeast Wisconsin