By Michelle McGovern, Director of Student Life, Health & Wellness
Caring for our mental and physical wellness is of utmost priority during times like these and serves to strengthen us, as individuals, as well as our community as a whole. In times of stress, finding ways to nurture the whole person helps maintain our health. The ways in which we thoughtfully exercise our brains, bodies and souls can help us cope with change and strengthen our inner power. We hope that your family is thinking of ways to do this, and we want you to know that, at Notre Dame, we are also thinking about this for our students. To complement the important learning happening for students in their virtual classrooms, we want to make sure we are also attending to the whole student. This includes providing opportunities for students to connect with each other in different ways. We will continue to work as a faculty/staff/administration to develop opportunities for our students to do this, and want to share what we have set in place as we began this week, and as we think about the subsequent weeks of our remote learning.
- Mentoring sessions have been added to the Flexible Learning Plan. This allows scheduled time for all students to check in with their mentor(s) and their peers outside of academic classes. Mentoring will happen Friday from 10:30-11:00am each week.
- The Counseling Department has been thinking of creative ways to stay connected to students during this time of remote learning. They are sending a daily morning message intended to bring some joy and/or inspiration to the students. Ms. Valentine recorded a video about cognitive restructuring for the students earlier this week; view it here! Additionally, counselors are scheduling one-on-one meetings with students as needed via Zoom. Please encourage your daughter(s) to reach out to her counselor if she would like to schedule a time.
- Finding balance through all of this is important. To that end, co-curricular program directors have been working to develop a plan that allows students to continue involvement with many of Notre Dame’s co-curricular programs and activities. A schedule for these will be posted, and more information will be shared via Google Classroom and through mentoring as we continue to develop these opportunities.
Here are also a few articles that might be helpful as you navigate the new world of digital learning for your family. Please note that these are the suggestions of the individual writers and publications:
- Home-Schooling Tweens & Teens During Coronavirus Closings New York Times article
- The Family Lockdown Guide presented by The Guardian
- Have a Ball virtual sports day article on How to be Human website
We would love to hear the ways in which your family is finding balance during this time -- please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share photos and/or anecdotes! And, as always, if you have suggestions for how we can help our students continue to nurture their whole selves, we want to hear them.