Coming Together: Responding to Unfinished Learning and Supporting Social-Emotional Health in the 2021-2022 School Year
Charles Smith Ed.D., Wilton Public Schools Assistant Superintendent, leads a panel discussion addressing the district's response to unfinished learning and plans for implementing a prioritized curriculum in the upcoming school year. In addition to WPS staff members, Tracey Masella L.C.S.W., joins the panel to offer guidance on how families can support students and foster social-emotional well-being as kids make the transition back to full-time school.
Charles Smith, Ed.D. - WPS Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction
Andrea Leonardi - WPS Assistant Superintendent, Special Services
Trudy Denton - WPS Curriculum Coordinator - Math/Science
Karen Brenneke - WPS Curriculum Coordinator - Humanities
Kim Zemo, L.C.S.W - WPS, Safe School Climate Coordinator
Tracey Masella, L.C.S.W - Private Practice, Silver Hill Hospital
Returning to Class and Campus: Strategies to Ease Anxiety and Improve Mental Health Following the Pandemic
Jane Thierfeld Brown, EdD
We’re all struggling to figure out our re-entry into society after the traumas of quarantine and distance learning. For students returning to schools and campuses, reports confirm that 40-60% have mental health issues. How can we slow the dive into normalcy and let our kids, especially those with special needs, know it’s okay to wade in slowly?
The Transition Back: Navigating the Return to Normal
Andrew J. Gerber, M.D., Ph.D.
A webinar about youth mental health and wellness for parents, caregivers and other interested adults.
Chasing Childhood Virtual Screening and Q&A
Chasing Childhood is a feature documentary that explores the rapidly changing landscape of contemporary childhood and parenting. The film takes us to three communities that are trying to shift culture to create room for play and independence with the hope of raising kids to become competent, healthy, and happy adults.
Eden Wurmfeld, Director and Producer of Chasing Childhood
Lenore Skenazy, President and Founder of Let Grow
Dr. Michael Hynes, Superintendent of Schools, Port Washington, NY
Genevieve Eason, Executive Director of Wilton Youth Council
Savannah Eason, Wilton High School ‘13
The Q&A will be moderated by Vicki Abeles, the director and producer of Race to Nowhere and Beyond Measure.
Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD
Eli R. Lebowitz, PhD
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems in children and adolescents. Parenting an anxious child means facing constant challenges and questions: When should parents help children avoid anxiety-provoking situations, and when should they encourage them to face their fears? How can parents foster independence while still supporting their children? How can parents reduce the hold their child’s anxiety has taken over the entire family?
Learn more about SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions):
The Sex Talk: Beyond the Birds and Bees
Guess what, Mom and Dad... social norms about sex have changed since we were kids! Young adults are telling us they’ve felt unprepared for the current world of dating and "hooking up" when they arrived at college or started their lives post high school. We may have done a good job explaining the birds, bees and biology, but there are some important topics we forgot to discuss.
In this presentation, Jessica Feighan, the Director of Education, Outreach and Operations of The Rowan Center, will help us explore current issues that young people tell us are challenging for them. We'll learn clever, low-stress ways to teach consent and mutual respect in relation to sex; discuss “hook-up” culture; and learn about the impact of pornography on teen sexuality. If we start these conversations with our kids early, they will have the tools to make healthy sexual choices by the time they’re ready to leave home.
Healthy Connections: An Inside Scoop on Adolescents and Addiction
Anthony Nave, LCSW
New experiences and relationships are essential for helping our tweens, teens and young adults develop appropriately and reach their full potential. As parents, we may be concerned that our kids are changing too quickly – or that their panoply of experiences will be harmful, especially when they involve alcohol and drugs. In today’s presentation and conversation, Anthony Nave, LCSW, will explain: how our adolescents’ social, emotional and brain development can increase their risk for substance abuse/use disorders; what signs of struggle to look out for; how to start a conversation about drugs and alcohol; and what resources are available, if further help is needed. Anthony will also discuss misconceptions surrounding addiction and the contemporary “medical model” of addiction.
Encouraging Your Teenagers to Find Their Own Paths: A Road Map for Choosing a College, a Career, or Something Different
Rick Fiery, MS, MBA
The leap from high school to college is overwhelming. Newfound independence— combined with little or no parental control— leaves many students, especially those with learning, attention, and mental health challenges, feeling anxious and ultimately underperforming at college. As parents, you can help relieve everyone’s anxiety by recognizing that college isn’t the only option after high school. Career success may very well follow a different path.
Mindful Parents, Mindful Families: Effective Parenting in Trying Times
Tracey Masella, LCSW
Parenting through the pandemic and turbulent current events is difficult, confusing, and stressful. Learn how to create a family environment that fosters mental, physical and emotional health.
Tracey Masella, LCSW, will provide useful information and offer tools to help you build a family frame, set reasonable and attainable expectations and goals for your children, manage anxiety (both yours and your children’s), develop healthy self-care practices and find a supportive group of fellow parents in your community.
Coping with Uncertainty and Loss: What We Can Do to Help Our Kids and Ourselves
Mary Murphy, PhD
The Wilton High School community experienced the sudden loss of both a student and a staff member this week. Our hearts and prayers are with their families and loved ones during this very difficult time.
Mary Murphy, PhD will address these sudden losses and how we can help our children manage their grief when she returns tomorrow, September 25, at 10:00 a.m. for Part II of our webinar series. Dr. Murphy will also continue to address issues around the many challenges that families have faced with the return to school.
Coping with Uncertainty as School Begins: What We Can Do to Help Our Kids and Ourselves
Mary Murphy, PhD
Parents and students are managing unprecedented challenges this year, and there is much we still do not know about how the year will unfold. Mary Murphy, Ph.D., will help us create a toolbox of coping skills for ourselves, as well as child-specific recommendations: predictable routines and rituals for self-care; ways to focus on what we can control; how to be flexible and revise plans in the face of new information and changing school situations; and methods to balance daily tasks to reduce stress.
See this relevant article: This is our season of coaching our children through disappointment
Fathering in a Pandemic
John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC and
Brian McManus, CARC, CRPA
Join Liberation Programs President and CEO John Hamilton and Mountainside Treatment Center Recovery Coach Brian McManus for a webinar just for dads. John and Brian will offer helpful advice for connecting with our kids during this extraordinary time.
Why This Summer Might Be Your Kid’s Most Memorable: Opportunities Like Never Before
Quick -- can you do a quadratic equation? Ahem. You don't have to answer that. But DO answer this: Can you ride a bike? Bake a cake? Make a friend? This summer your kids may forget some of their academics. But what they learn they'll remember forever. Join Let Grow's Lenore Skenazy to talk about what kids gain when they lose the summer they expected and gain some amazing independence.
Visit Let Grow’s website for more information and to find helpful resources like the free Summer Printable Kit and the I'm Bored Kit.
Screen Time in the Age of Coronavirus
Alicia Farrell, Ph.D.
In this webinar with Dr. Alicia Farrell we learn about the effects of screen time on our kids' cognitive, social and emotional development and how to navigate these issues during COVID. This talk is informative for parents with kids of all ages, teachers, administrators, counselors, clinicians and community leaders.
A handout on technology and brain development from Dr. Farrell is available for download on this page, however we recommend viewing the webinar first in order to put this information in context. Dr. Farrell has also provided her handout titled “Messages to Counterbalance Perfectionism,” which is relevant to the challenges of this time.
Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for more screen time recommendations.