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Addressing Student Needs – Planning for the Transition Back to the Brick-and-Mortar School

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When COVID-19 struck, many schools faced the challenge of transitioning from traditional brick-and-mortar environments to virtual environments to provide educational and mental health services to their students. As infection rates decline, schools are planning another transition – this time back to in-person learning environments. However, students will be returning to school with a variety of challenges such as trauma, mental health concerns, and academic difficulties. To efficiently address these needs schools, need to plan and prepare for the transition from the pandemic to a new normal. 

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an approach for schools to triage the impact of the pandemic and develop initial intervention strategies to support the needs of returning students.

Benjamin FernandezBenjamin S. Fernandez, MS. Ed. serves as a lead school psychologist in Northern Virginia and is a member of the National Association of School Psychologist’s (NASP) School Safety and Crisis Response Committee.  He provides leadership and an array of psychological and school-based mental health services, is a crisis team leader, a PREPaRE master trainer, and coordinates crisis intervention services for his district. For NASP, he has conducted presentations and contributed on topics related to youth suicide, PREPaRE, and school safety and crisis. Benjamin was honored by being named School Psychologist of the Year by the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists and NASP.

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