Student Services Newsletter January 2022

SEL Focus: Self-Management

What is Self-Management? The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.Self Management

  • Impulse control
  • Stress management
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-motivation
  • Goal-setting
  • Organizational skills


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Click on image to watch video


Check out this video to learn how to teach children ways to manage their feelings and turn them into positive actions, including creating a calm and regulated environment, showing how to manage impulses, and discussing ways to resolve conflicts.



Ways to Build Self-Management Skills

  1. Prioritize your health and well-being. Eating right and sleeping well help you do your best work and productively interact with your colleagues. …
  2. Know your strengths. …
  3. Focus on one task at a time. …
  4. Develop an organizational system. …
  5. Set short- and long-term goals for yourself.

Books to help teach kids about Self-Management

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 8.20.52 PMBig Nate Lives it Up | Lincoln Peirce

Principal Nichols asks Nate—you may recognize him from the Big Nate comic strip—to look after the new kid. Breckenridge Puffington III is no fun at all. But there seems to be something strange and familiar about him. THEMES: Compassion, Emotion Management, Empathy, Feelings, Friendship, Problem, Solving,Understanding Perspectives


El Deafo | Cece BellScreen Shot 2022-01-12 at 8.21.41 PM

Cece is self-conscious about her huge hearing aid. Then she discovers she can listen in on teachers’ conversations, and her deafness starts to feel like a superpower! Will it help her to conquer her loneliness and find a real friend? THEMES: Being Assertive, Emotion Management, Feelings, Friendship


Fish in a Tree | Lynda Mullaly HuntScreen Shot 2022-01-12 at 8.22.20 PM

Ally can’t read, but none of her teachers have noticed. Until now, she’s fooled everyone by changing schools and disrupting class. But her new teacher sees how bright she is, and helps her understand and cope with her dyslexia. THEMES: Being Assertive, Emotion Management, Feelings, Problem Solving,Understanding Perspectives


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The Girl Who Drank the Moon | Kelly Barnhill

This lyrical fantasy novel tells the story of a girl who, after being abandoned by her village, is being raised by the good witch who accidentally gave her some troublesome magical powers. THEMES: Consequences, Emotion Management, Feelings, Problem Solving


Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 8.26.03 PMInside Out and Back Again | Thanhha Lai

Hà flees Saigon with her family during the Vietnam war. Her life as a refugee is strange and frightening, but her bond with her family is strong. The story is told inverse, and is based on the author’s experience. THEMES: Being Assertive, Emotion Management, Feelings



Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 8.26.58 PMJanna and the Kings | Patricia Smith

Janna spends every Saturday with Granddaddy, and her favorite part is their visit to the barbershop. There, Grandaddy and his friends look like kings on their thrones.When Grandaddy dies, Janna fears she’s lost all the kings.THEMES: Compassion, Emotion Management, Feelings, Friendship




January is National Mental Wellness Month

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In addition to keeping children physically safe during the pandemic, it is also important to care for their emotional health. The threat of COVID-19, long-term social distancing, and prolonged disruption to the school routine may create significant stress and impact children’s mental well-being. (Check out the complete VDOE resource here

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This month is dedicated to being mindful about your own mental and emotional wellness. Students are juggling a lot of different things in these times and what is often lost is to take time for oneself. In these stressful times, it can be very necessary and extremely beneficial for students to take a break and do something that they enjoy helping to relieve stress and anxiety.  Mental wellness is about how all aspects of your life — the social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual — all come together for an overall state of well-being. Mental health and wellness affect all aspects of our lives. It helps determine how we act, feel, and think, and it affects our ability to handle stress, connect to other people, and to make decisions. Thus it’s important to improve our mental awareness in any way we can, some can be as simple as laughing or having a positive attitude. Here are some tips that can help everyone improve their mental wellness:

Develop a positive attitudePicture1 — People with positive attitudes are happier, more successful, and better able to handle crises and stress. And in concert with a positive attitude, get an attitude of gratitude for what you have instead of dwelling on what you don’t. 

Picture2Avoid negative self-talk — Learn to be thankful for the good rather than focusing on the negative issues. Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, say the words silently or out loud, “Cancel-Cancel” and then consciously shift it into a positive thought instead.  

Picture3View a crisis situation as an opportunity — Creative problem-solving can expand your options. Try to make a list of good things that could result from the problem you’re having to solve.

Picture4Connect with Others & Laugh – Having connection with others is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. Someone to share with and laugh with can keep us grounded and help us gain perspective. Remember, humor is a great stress-reducer. Studies indicate laughter can make you healthier. 

Exercise — Regular exercise increases energy and releases brain biochemicals to ward off depression and anxiety. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. Just a 15-minute walk a day will help keep body and soul together. Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 9.53.01 PM

Improve your diet — During times of stress, you tend to skip meals or eat junk food. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and fiber will help you maintain the physical and mental stress you need to deal with the situation.

restGet enough rest — sleep disturbances are common during stress.  Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your mental health is to get a good night’s sleep. The Mayo Clinic recommends that adults receive seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

leisureTake Some “Me Time” & Ask for Help if You Feel Overwhelmed – This can be anything from leisurely reading a book that you have been wanting to read or doing an activity just for yourself. Finding support for yourself in the people around you is also important for your overall well-being. Help can be just a phone call away.

For more information go to


LEARN MORE: Youth Mental Health First Aid Training Available to Staff & Parents

The Office of Student Services continues to be committed to training all new staff  and re-certifying staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). This is a 6-hour course that teaches how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Registration for staff is through Frontline. Parents can register by calling the Office of Student Services at 703-228-6062. Training will be provided every month for the remainder of the year.Upcoming session dates are: February 8, March 10, March 31, April 27, and May 10.

LEARN MORE: Did you miss Dr. Christina Choi’s Social Emotional Learning Presentation in November?

The Student Services Advisory Committee invites you to watch a recording of their meeting featuring guest speakers Dr. Christina Choi and Dr. Peck Cho.  Dr. Christina Choi is an author and presenter who appears regularly on TV and was the host of a very successful TV talk show in S. Korea. She has made more than a dozen TV documentaries on marriage, parenting & education. Her TV documentary on motherhood received a Best Program award, and she was chosen as one of the three most influential women in Korea. Dr. Peck Choi is Co-Founder and Co-Director with Dr. Choi of an Institute of Resilience and Positivity, which provides workshops for professionals.  The Institute offers a free educational program to hundreds of daycare center staff and parents in impoverished areas and to workers of UNICEF.  They have also worked with 22,000 orphans and children at risk in Korea, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil and Guatemala. Christina and Peck will be talking about how to make Social and Emotional Learning part of the culture. The recording is online at:

LEARN MORE: What can YOU do to prevent child abuse?

Darkness to Light is a Nation-Wide prevention and awareness program that empowers adults to prevent child abuse. The Arlington County Child Advocacy Center is hosting training sessions that are a part of the “Darkness to Light” program and are open to the public. Multiple trainings are available in either English or Spanish.

  • Stewards of Children (2 ½  hours)- Learn how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
  • Healthy Touching (1 hour)- Learn how to balance children’s needs for warmth and affection with safe, respectful ways of interacting.
  • Talking with Children about Safety from Sexual Abuse (1 hour)-  Learn to have age-appropriate, open conversations about our bodies, sex, and boundaries.
  • Bystanders Protecting Children from Boundary Violations and Sexual Abuse (1 hour)- Learn to describe behavior. Set limits. Move on. Always make sure the person who has violated the boundary is willing to follow the limit you set.
  • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (I hour)- Learn about commercial sexual exploitation, which is a form of sexual abuse and should not be mistaken for as child’s consent.

Darkness to Light training sessions can also be scheduled and tailored for professional/ community groups on other dates and times.To register for or discuss scheduling any of these Darkness to Light trainings go to Jennifer Gross at 703-228-1561 or for more information.

Resources: CIGNA School Support Line – OPEN TO ALL

Don’t do it alone. There are many reasons to seek help. Some are common, others more serious. Either way, talk with us today if you or a family member are dealing with: Anxiety, Depression, Abuse, Eating disorders, Bullying, Self-harm, Addiction, Peer Pressure, Suicidal thoughts or anything else. No one has to be a Cigna customer to call. If you go to school, or have a child who goes to school, the School Support Line was created for you.This is a no-cost, confidential service that puts students and families in touch with mental health professionals who know how to listen, ask the right questions, and offer advice. And it’s available around the clock for you and for members of your family. 833-MeCigna (833-632-4462) We’re here 24/7/365!

Resources: Know families that need support? New classes from SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia is the only region-wide organization focused solely on preventing child abuse and neglect across Northern Virginia. For 30 years, we have been committed to developing effective prevention programming for all children and families, no matter what their circumstances.

Nurturing Parents | English & Spanish – Wednesday’s January 26—March 16

For parents with children of all ages: Receive support in topics such as child development, praise and empathy, family rules and expectations, stress management and much more!

Strengthening Families | English – Thursday’s January 27—March 10

For parents and youth ages 10-14: Strengthen your family bond with discussions, games, projects, and much more. Families will discuss topics such as family stress, tobacco use, peer pressure, and more.

Family Coaching | English & Spanish

Open enrollment—-Meet weekly with a Family Coach to identify individualized goals and create a targeted family plan.

SCAN’s Family Programs in Northern Virginia.

SCAN of Northern Virginia

205 S Whiting St Ste 205

Alexandria, VA 22304-3632

Phone: (703) 820-9001