To say that the last two weeks have been unusual would be an understatement. Widespread power outages, damage from two major storms, and gas shortages are not typical topics of conversation in our Schechter community. With all of these unexpected challenges in front of us, it is amazing how our students are rising to the occasion. Through the efforts of the Kesher Club, the school lobby is filling with donations for those families most severely impacted by the storms and the Student Government coin challenge is well underway with the goal of supporting the SSLI Hurricane Sandy fund.

While it is amazing to watch the resilience of our students as they get back into the swing of things and work to move along in their studies, it is important to know that adolescent resilience is not a bottomless well from which to draw from. On the surface, your child may appear to be holding it together, but underneath this, there may be a feeling of fragility as students crave the regularity of their own routines, the privacy of their own homes, and the sense of being in their own space.

Resilience is defined as the ability for something to return to its original form after being stressed or placed in adverse circumstances. We can build resilience by having a positive attitude and emotions and the ability to express our emotions, even if they are negative. Feeling competent and talented at something also strengthens one’s resilience. Resilience can further be buoyed by being connected to the social networks around you and taking advantage of the supports offered. Our Chesed Committee is here to help whether it is a Shabbat meal or finding you warm shelter and we encourage you to take advantage of the services being offered.

As the school year progresses, we will be looking to support our students’ resilience and foster their ability to not just get back to where they were, but to move forward in their academic, social, cognitive, emotional growth. For more on building your child’s resilience, the National Association of School Psychologists offers this handout.

Of course, another way to deal with the stress of these moments and to boost our resilience is a little humor. Take a listen to our 9th grade music class as they sing The Frankenstorm Blues (music and lyrics by Joan Friedman Cohen and the Class of 2016).

We know that conditions at home for many for studying and doing homework are nowhere near optimal. As the end of the quarter approaches, your children’s teachers are trying to be as sensitive as possible to these circumstances. If your child is struggling or feeling overwhelmed, please contact the individual teacher or Senora Cahn for help in navigating the workload.

Shabbat Shalom!

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