South High School

11 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236


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  • Dear South Students,

    In the span of days, our lives have changed in unprecedented ways. As we look ahead to the next three weeks, many emotions are swirling. When we don’t have a clear picture of the next steps with everyday life we all feel anxiety.  Additionally, with students missing highly anticipated athletics, performances and activities there is no doubt a level of frustration and sadness mixed in. Remember that we are figuratively and literally all in this together and figuring out the best way to normalize our lives as we go along.  I hope this message will bring a bit of clarity to some of the unknowns and help families transition to E-learning through Schoology. 

    What to look for in your student in the weeks ahead:

    Initially, students may anticipate this time as an extended vacation.  It is challenging to get into a school mindset from home.  Take a look at the “Study Tips for Online Learning” below to help support your student’s consistency with academic study and overall success. Students will be learning every day and assignments and assessments will continue online.  

    This is a critical moment for our world and our community so it is important that all people are keeping up the social distancing.  Use the gifts of our digital universe to stay in touch. Text, video chat and call your friends and family. Although we live in a close community, students might also start feeling isolated from peers, from support, and from their normal routine. Each student has access to mental health support daily. Counselors are available via email and will have online office hours Monday through Friday from 3/16 - 4/3.  Parents can also reach out to counselors during these times.

    To access counselors during these times, students need to:

    • Email the counselor that you want to talk during their office hours.
    • The counselor will invite you to a google hangout where you can chat or video conference.
    • Students can access hangouts by opening their school Gmail on a computer OR by downloading the google hangouts app on their phone. If you download the app on your phone, please use your school google account to sign in to receive our invitations. 
    • Students must be on their school Gmail account to receive the invite.

    In our world of 24/7 news, it is sometimes easy to get pulled into the swarm of information and feel overwhelmed. While it is important to get good, clear information you do not want your student to be drowning in the news cycle as this may cause undue anxiety. Resources in supporting your family throughout COVID as it pertains to mental health, social/emotional and academic resources are available here.  Also, a wonderful resource page for mental health from our School Psychologists and Social Workers here.


    How do I help my student with online learning?

    Study Tips for Online Learning

    1. Set a daily routine
      Although it might be tempting to sleep in, it is important to get up and have a daily routine for learning. A study plan is critical to online learning. Here are some tips to help:
      • Plan ahead
        Never wait until the day before an assignment due date to start working on it. It will stress you and prevent you from effectively completing the online task. Furthermore, knowing when all of your assignments are due until the end of the eLearning course will facilitate your time management; for instance, if you are going on vacation in the middle of the eLearning course, you can study ahead.
      • Know and keep track of your deadlines
        Online learning needs structure. Create a study calendar that will help you remember all important dates, like exams, or deadlines for submitting your assignments. You can save your calendar in your computer or on your mobile device, or you can even create a wall planner, which you can mark up and check every time you study.
      • Create to-do lists.
        At the start of each week, make a to-do list of the tasks you need to complete by the end of the week. This is an excellent way to prioritize your study plan and stay on track with your studying.
      • Set time limits.
        Before you start studying, estimate how much time each task will take to complete, whether it is a specific assignment or simply reading a chapter. Try to stick to your time limits, as this will help you develop your self-discipline. Furthermore, when you realize that despite your best efforts you cannot concentrate, consider stopping for an hour or for the night; it is better to wait until you are able to start afresh than to waste your time trying to focus.
      • Stay on schedule.
        Finally, stick to your study plan. procrastination is the worst enemy of online learners, so make sure that you stay organized and you are not falling behind in your online class. If you are having difficulties submitting your assignments on time, contact your online course instructor and let them know, so that they can help you create a consistent study routine.

    2. Create a dedicated study space
      Create a quiet space where you can work with minimal distractions. Limit social media while you are working - put your phone out of sight or on “do not disturb”.

    3. Ask for help when you need it
      Use the resources in Schoology provided by your teachers. There are also some great resources through Kahn Academy and Shmoop (on Schoology).  Reach out to a counselor  - we’re here to help!  Counselors each have individual office hours if you want to reach YOUR counselor but there will also be a counselor available between 8-12 and 1-3. 

    4. Fully commit yourself! Although online learning is new to most students, we’re all in this together.  Do your best, communicate with your teachers, and stay positive.

    Sage advice fell in my inbox from Michigan Counselor Judy Lipson: Keep up with your student's education, but it might look different. Let's be aware that most of your children's teachers had minimal time or web experience to create two-plus weeks of lesson plans, and post them for your use. I recently saw a lovely blog in the form of a letter from a homeschooling mom to all the new temporary homeschoolers. She reminds us all that homeschooling doesn't include your child sitting at a desk for 6 hours working on books and worksheets. Be kind to each other, and take care of one another.

    Seek acceptance of this situation. This doesn't mean that you are excited that you have to work from home and that school is closed (though some of your kids will feel just that way, at least initially!), it means to accept what is - equanimity.  Be like the water that passes the rock in the middle of the stream without resistance. The water doesn't pound on the rock, screaming, the water moves to the side and continues, focusing on what and where it can. As we all navigate this together, I am here for you via video chat or phone to help support you or your child.

    Thank you so much for your support as we navigate this transition together.

    GPS Mental Health Team 


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