Remote Learning Resources
Dear Bard students and families,
As you may have heard, Baltimore City public schools will be closed from March 16-27, 2020.
Faculty members will be preparing materials for students so they can work remotely. Most teachers have already surveyed their students to see if they will have internet access and be able to get assignments via Google Classroom or other online platforms during a school closure. Families/students who need hard copy work packets can pick them up at school from 10 am to 3 pm on March 17-19. For the latest closure details from City Schools, stay up to date at this webpage: https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/health-updates. Please be assured that Year 1 and 2 students will continue to earn college credit during this period of school closure and remote work.
I will continue to send updates as soon as I receive them.
Thank you and stay safe,
Francesca Gamber, Ph.D.
For more information about COVID-19, you can check out these helpful pdfs from the Children’s Mental Health Campaign! This pdf has information about the symptoms of the novel coronavirus and this pdf has information about how to prepare and reduce risk. Also, here’s a fun helpful video about hand washing as well.
Additionally: Your Counseling Team is here to support you through the unexpected twists and turns of the current coronavirus/school situation and the following information will be helpful as we navigate this time together.
We want to assure you that we are still here for your academic and college/career advising needs even if we aren’t able to physically meet for a while. If you need our help with requests for documents from colleges, scholarship applications, graduation status inquiries, and other things of this nature, please feel free to reach out to your counselor by email. For social/emotional concerns, please reach out to a trusted family member, friend, your doctor, outside therapist if you have one, one of the hotlines listed below, or 911 in cases of emergency where you or someone else is not safe.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you should reach out to one of the free resources here. As always, if you feel there is a danger that you or someone else may hurt themselves, please call 911.
Crisis Hotline 1-800-422-0009
First Step Youth Services Center (410) 521-3800
Baltimore Crisis Response (410) 752-2272
City Schools will also operate an emergency food service program at at least eight sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, March 20, 2020. Students will be able to receive grab-and-go free breakfast and lunch meals. The sites will be announced by Sunday, March 15, 2020 and will be listed on the Health Updates webpage: https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/health-updates.
There are things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick as well as protect those around you if you do catch COVID-19. It’s important to know that most young people are able to handle this virus well. The elderly and the immune-compromised (or those with other underlying health conditions) are at the most risk of developing complications. To protect yourself, your best bet is washing your hands regularly and thoroughly as well as avoiding crowds/close contact with others, especially those who appear to be sick. To protect those around you, you should:
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wear a facemask if you’re sick or caring for someone who’s sick
- Keep frequently touched surfaces disinfected
You can read more about these tips and other helpful information on the CDC’s guidelines page for coronavirus/COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
During this time, we also want you to remember that it’s normal to feel stressed in uncertain situations. There’s a lot we don’t know right now about what’s going on with the coronavirus and that’s okay. It’s also okay to feel uncomfortable, stressed, etc. when we encounter situations like this. It’s important to remember during this time that we are not helpless, despite current events, and can use our resources to protect both our health and mental well-being. If you’re feeling particularly concerned, check out this article from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://afsp.org/taking-care-of-your-mental-health-in-the-face-of-uncertainty/
In addition to the recommendations in the link above, here are some things you can do to manage your stress level if you’re feeling particularly anxious or worried:
- Keep in mind that stress isn’t always a bad thing. A manageable level of stress can be helpful in accomplishing tasks.
- Talk about your problems, even if they can’t be solved. With a situation like the coronavirus, it’s easy to feel uncertain – this is a great time to talk through your feelings and concerns with someone you trust.
- Prioritize your responsibilities. Focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do. During this time, you can take steps to protect your health (listed above). You can also work diligently on the schoolwork your teachers provide to keep your grades moving forward in a positive way. Also, focusing on smaller tasks opens up time to be able to tackle bigger, more time-consuming ones. If you’re struggling with any course concepts or just want to brush up on your skills, Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/) and Quizlet (https://quizlet.com/) are two great resources to use.
- Focus on the basics. Make it a point to practice self-care, including eating well, keeping a healthy sleep schedule, exercising, mindfulness, setting aside personal time for yourself, and simply taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- Keep things in perspective. While the coronavirus is a very valid thing to be concerned about, it’s important to keep a level head, stay informed with information from reputable sources (CDC, WHO, etc.), and practice measures to keep you and those around you healthy.
Other things you can do to cope with stress, problems, or other uncomfortable feelings: Relaxation techniques (deep breathing, for example), using social support, problem-solving techniques, and seeking professional help.
Here are some college readiness resources and support that you can use as well. Here is a link to scholarships and resources you can look over and apply to during this period of school closure. For each scholarship, please make sure you review the eligibility guidelines before applying.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your school counselor. Take care of yourself and we’ll see you when we return!