Social Emotional Well-Being

Social Emotional Well-Being

Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES recognizes that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important. BOCES 2 has made available resources and referrals to address the mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff.    

Department of Exceptional Children and Westside Academy 

BOCES 2 has a district-wide and building-level comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan (Lion’s Quest), developed under the direction of certified school counselors. This plan is reviewed annually and has been updated to meet current needs.  The BOCES 2 Special Education Advisory Council (shared decision-making team), that consists of multiple stakeholders from the Department of Exceptional Children, has advised regarding the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan.  

Support for Students, Families, and Staff 

BOCES 2 will provide students, families, and staff with resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional support services and programs as follows: 

  • All school-age special education classrooms have a mental health provider assigned who is  attentive to a variety of needs, allowing for 1:1 support and case management services that are embedded.  
  • The creation and progress monitoring of behavior support plans and crisis management plans also occurs as needed based on individual student needs.  
  • Each classroom also has built in nursing, assistive technology staff and instructional specialists; all middle school and high school classrooms have embedded transition specialist access to other related service providers such as autism specialists, music therapists, etc.  
  • Access to consultants – Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, and partnership with Villa of Hope to provide intensive, individual support to students 
  • Mental health staff communicate regularly with team members in order to support student needs.  
  • Students are provided opportunities to process personal experience; titrate academics to allow time for students to adjust to classroom culture 
  • When in hybrid or remote models, students will have 1:1 devices allowing them the opportunity to communicate electronically with providers as needed throughout the school day 
  • The ability to send automated calls to families regarding our steps toward planning and outreach to support students and families 
  • The creation of pre-recorded Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons that can be used asynchronously at various age/grade levels 
  • BOCES 2 will update staff via electronic means  
  • The BOCES 2 district-wide crisis team maintains an email to provide all staff the opportunity to reach out for consultation and guidance as they transition back to in-person work 
  • The BOCES 2 Employee Assistance Program provides a wide variety of individual supports for all staff to support their mental health needs 
Professional Development/Growth for Staff 

The BOCES 2 Professional Learning Plan provides multiple professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide supports for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff.  BOCES 2 has adjusted our academic calendar to provide multiple full days of professional development before the first day of school to provide staff time for professional development targeting students return to school.  Topics include: 

  • Review of trauma-informed practice.  
  • Active listening, validating, universal positive regard, strength –based approach. 
  • Planning for a “new” beginning. 
  • Staff reflection time prior to start of the school year. 
  • 3-tiered approach: Universal messaging for prevention and Education, Skills and supports for targeted populations, and Individualized interventions.  
  • Emotional debriefings offered with operation debriefings. 
  • Zoom based Crisis Team facilitated sharing sessions.  
  • Material/lesson/resource peer sharing sessions.  
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Systems refresher course that will include how to talk with students experiencing the challenges of life and school in a pandemic era. 
  • Creating anonymous surveys to get student feedback over time. 
  • Creation and sharing of digital lessons in an accessible location to all. 
  • How to model and practice self-care. 
BOCES 2 School Reopening Emotional Support Strategies 

A strong set of universal interventions designed to support social emotional well-being will be crucial to our collective success as students and adults return to instruction and the school environment with increased needs.
To meet these challenges, individuals must start with the inner work of healing their own hearts and minds, finding the capacity within themselves to support healing for students, families, peers, and communities. 
We must build capacity around student and family engagement, trauma-responsive practices, social emotional learning, restorative practices, and fostering relationships, within both in-person and virtual environments. 
The following considerations are intended to assist in creating a welcoming and caring school community that ensures its members are met with compassion and the support they need to achieve and thrive. Academic learning cannot be effective until the basic human needs for physical and emotional safety are met. This is an embodied practice. Breathe, notice, feel, and be present.
3-Tiered Approach to Transitioning Back to School:
Tier 1Orientation and overviewOverview of structure/schedule and safety assurances 
  Team building activities  
 Daily Check-in/Check-out for all in class 
Brief rating scales such as:
  • The Zones of Regulation - How are you feeling today?
  • Thumb-o-meter
  • Rating scales 
 SEL instruction
  •  Lion’s Quest curriculum
  •  Other resources listed in the BOCES 2 Library Services page and/or Schoology site
Coping skills/Resiliency activitiesMeditation minutes, stretch breaks, fostering positive social connections, supporting good sleep, nutrition and exercise
Tier 2Small group check-insRestorative circles
  Targeted coping skill development
  Parent Survey
Tier 3Responding to individual needs Individual outreach and 1:1 support 
  Possible referrals to community agencies for unmet needs or added support
  Use of external consultants within the school setting (Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, and partnership with Villa of Hope) 
Some strategies for accomplishing this are as follows: 
Area ß / Focus group ÞStaff Students Parents/Guardians
Pre-screening of needs in development phase prior to school year
  • BOCES-wide electronic surveys
  • Offering sessions to share experiences (electronically and in-person) 
  • BOCES-wide electronic surveys
  • BOCES-wide electronic surveys
First days Team meetings, brief questionnaires and feedback loops Student surveys and expressive activities Family survey
Sensitivity Awareness (self-awareness and supporting and caring for each other) Team meetings; mentors/collegial partners; email blasts; webinars SEL Lessons Newsletters
Responding to needs Use of team meetings forums, crisis team, and/or EAP Teaching and related service staff to address individual concerns Teaching and related service staff to address individual concerns


Contact the BOCES 2 COVID Coordinator
[email protected]

Link to Introduction and Background  
Link to Communication/Family and Community Engagement 
Link to Health and Safety 
Link to Facilities 
Link to Child Nutrition 
Link to Transportation 
Link to Social Emotional Well Being 
Link to School Schedules 
Link to Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism 
Link to Technology and Connectivity 
Link to Teaching and Learning 
Link to Special Education 
Link to Bilingual Education and World Languages 
Link to Staffing