Medway Public Schools has partnered with Dr. Jennifer Greif Green of the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development to develop an online COVID-19 stress and anxiety educational course for students.
The course, launched on May 11th, helps students in grades 5-12 understand the difference between stress and anxiety, learn about different ways to manage their stress and determine who they can reach out to if they feel they need support.
After the course is implemented for Medway students, it will also be made available for schools around the country to access and offer to their students at no cost.
The course was developed in collaboration with Dr. Green, Boston University Associate Professor in Special Education, and researchers from the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.
“Medway Public Schools reached out to us because of their commitment to supporting the health and well-being of students," said Dr. Green. "We are thankful for the opportunity to partner in developing this module and hope that it will be helpful to students in Medway, as well as other school districts.”
The lessons were created using a number of resources from different sources, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Psychologists, to address key questions and concerns that teens may have about stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The course begins with an explanation of stress as a normal reaction to many situations in people's lives. It explains reasons that teens may be feeling stress in relation to COVID-19, such as being stuck inside or missing time with friends.
The course goes on to explain strategies for coping with stress and how strategies can be healthy or unhealthy. Along with several ideas and tips of healthy strategies, the course discusses the importance of creating a routine by eating healthy, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
The course concludes with signs to help the student determine whether they or a friend may need additional help or support in coping with stress. Students are encouraged to reach out to teachers, school counselors, assistant principals or principals at any time if they need support or resources. Resources and contact information are provided for students and parents.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyone's daily lives, and it can be especially hard on our students who aren't in school and can't see their friends or participate in their usual activities," Dr. Sherman said. "We hope this course helps our students learn techniques to not only help them deal with the stress they may be experiencing during these uncertain times, but techniques that they can continue to use in the future."
"We were pleased to collaborate with Dr. Green and the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and we thank them for their work on this course," Superintendent Pires said. "We are excited that a course started here in Medway will go on to benefit students across Massachusetts and the country."