Cove ISD summer program addresses student emotional, behavioral needs
Special to Leader-Press
The pandemic has caused fear and anxiety not only in parents but also in children. Copperas Cove ISD school counselors surveyed parents asking if there is a need for emotional and behavioral support for their children during this time and the response was a resounding, “Yes.”
CCISD Director of Counseling Rhonda Burnell created the Summer Enrichment Groups based on survey responses of what type of support parents felt their children needed. Students were invited to participate in a two-week program starting Monday, June 15, where they will focus on learning skills to manage their behavior and emotions, resolve conflict and improve self-regulation.
“Copperas Cove ISD constantly evaluates how it can better serve students and families. The focus of the counseling program is to help students better understand the world they live in, make better decisions and improve academic success. The development of these skills will help students build social and leadership skills,” Burnell said. “The goal is that students will better understand their emotions so they can make healthy and successful choices and build strong relationships.”
Parents Elizabeth and Derek Chase have three children enrolled in Copperas Cove ISD. They enrolled their youngest son, Brayden, in the additional counseling services offered by the district at no charge.
“I am hoping my son is able to learn how to identify his emotions and control them especially when he is overwhelmed or anxious,” Elizabeth Chase said. “I am hopeful this will carryover at home and he will communicate with us in more appropriate ways instead of lashing out.”
Students in the summer enrichment groups will be engaged through curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and participate in activities that will help empower them and improve self-esteem. The program was made available to all students throughout CCISD.
“As a clinician, I understand the importance of building relationships and feeling connected and how both of these things improve the student’s academic success,” Burnell said.
Student groups will be kept small in number to allow for proper social distancing and will afford each student the opportunity to develop skills in the areas of communication, anger management and skills to cope with anxiety and depression.
To develop student coping skills, counselors will focus on teaching tools and techniques students can use to help them handle difficult emotions, decrease stress and establish or maintain a sense of internal order.
To develop anger management skills, counselors will help students build developmental objectives such as leadership skills to include taking initiative and presenting in front of the group, social skills such as taking turns and active listening, and building self-esteem through problem solving and interacting with peers. Key concepts and activities include spotting anger triggers and taking responsibility for mistakes, finding healthy ways to deal with provocation and avoiding losing control, and identifying feelings, learning steps to control anger and exploring consequences.
To develop social skills, counselors will focus on teaching students’ interpersonal and social problem solving techniques, conflict prevention and resolution, and emotional control and coping skills, in developmentally appropriate ways.
Seventy-nine students enrolled in the summer enrichment groups. In addition to keeping the groups small over four different sessions offered throughout the day, students will also have their temperatures taken and be required to wash their hands before entering their group sessions. All students and staff must wear face coverings and bring their own individual water bottles.