This week we will use the newsletter to share resources available to our school community during this difficult time. Please read on for messages regarding the many ways we can give and receive support. Be well, do good work, and take care of each other!
Message from the Eckstein School Counselors.
These are indeed challenging times for all of us as we navigate this unprecedented global crisis. Who could ever have imagined that school would be cancelled for 6 weeks, we would be told to work from home, stay inside our homes and stay at a safe distance from one another? Yet we find ourselves in just such a situation and many of us are unsure how to cope with the challenges. The uncertainty of everything can be very hard to accept and the non-stop media coverage can be overwhelming as we look for answers and guidance. Your school counselors are available if you want to check in, you have any questions, or are looking for resources. We are here to help. You and your student can access us through Schoology or via our email addresses below. Please don't hesitate to reach out if we can be of assistance.
How to Help Pre-Teen kids in a Coronavirus Lockdown:
Science-Based Strategies for coping with Coronavirus Anxiety: http://www.metrokids.com/MetroKids/Health/7-Science-based-Strategies-to-Cope-with-Coronavirus-Anxiety
Mental Health First Aid blog with resources specific to helping those struggling with anxiety regarding the Coronavirus:
Our partner, Space Between, is offering free mindful meditation community practices through Facebook live:
Headspace, a mindful meditation app, is offering free services during this crisis: https://www.headspace.com
Take care & please let us know if we can help,
6th Grade Counselor, Luz Santacruz firstname.lastname@example.org
7th Grade Counselor, Reema Ziadeh email@example.com
8th Grade Counselor, Niki Duncan firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Meal Distribution
Student meal sites operate from 11am until 1pm, Monday through Friday. The sites are OPEN during the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” period and social distancing is enforced. All SPS students can participate, and meals can be picked up by anyone in your family. Eckstein Middle School is a distribution site. Please enter and exit through the cafeteria doors, at the courtyard area near the portables.
There are 26 meal sites across the city, find them here.
Meals are also being delivered by yellow bus, along normal bus routes, three hours after morning pick up (you can find a map of the Eckstein bus routes here).
Weekend Food Support
Starting Friday March 27th, weekend food bags consisting of non-perishables are available for all families in need. To pick up food bags at Eckstein, please enter and exit from the courtyard area, near portables on east side of building. More details about the food program can be found on the COVID-19 Student Meal page.
Low-cost internet options are available for Seattle residents, so you can stay connected and complete work at home. http://www.seattle.gov/tech/services/internet-access/low-cost-home-internet-access-for-residents
Unemployment Benefits for Workers
For employees who are experiencing a decrease in wages, the Governor's office and the Employment Security Department have greatly increased opportunities to access unemployment benefits due to COVID-19. You can call the direct line at 1-800-752-2500 or get more information at their website: https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19.
Due to the number of COVID-19 cases in our state, the Washington Health Plan Finder is offering a limited 30-day special enrollment period for qualified people who currently do not have insurance. This opportunity runs through April 8, 2020.
The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) has 50 job openings in areas of accounting, case management, clinical support, counseling, substance abuse treatment, project management, software development, and more. The DESC provides integrated services including housing, emergency shelter, crisis intervention and healthcare to thousands of homeless and formerly homeless people every day. See the listings and apply on line at https://www.desc.org/get-involved/work-at-desc/ Also see the Critical Job Opportunities page on the WorkSource Seattle-King County website.
Government information and Resources During Pandemic
Find information and links to City of Seattle programs and services for those significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also listed are community, county, and state resources. The page is continuously updated to reflect developments and changes.
Alliance For Education and the Right Now Needs Fund
The Alliance for Education, in partnership with Amazon, has provided all 104 Seattle Public Schools with a Right Now Needs Fund, which is still available during the school closure. The fund assists with basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, school supplies, and medical costs. To request use of the fund, please reach out directly to your school principal or school staff. You can learn more on the Alliance for Education COVID-19 resource webpage.
(Condensed from the Seattle Public Schools Volunteer Program letter, March 25, 2020)
The number of SPS students in need will grow exponentially over time. As the food distribution effort scales up, more staff and volunteers will be critical.
All In Seattle is a group of Seattleites and community members who are quickly deploying resources directly to proven non-profits who can deliver to those most in need. Find more information about their citywide fundraiser here. All In Seattle launched on March 23, and raised over $27 million. Donations will continue for as long as needed.
Mercy Magnuson House Community Pantry needs donations
The pantry will accept items Monday-Friday, 9:30am - 5pm, in the coming weeks. Families can drop off items to Education Liaison Brittney Friend in her office. To find her, go in the front door of Mercy Magnuson, turn right, and then find her office near the mailboxes. Any non-perishables would be appreciated. This pantry supplies food to our greater NE Seattle community. The agency is working on a plan for how this food will be distributed/delivered to families in need.
Food Banks in Need
Local food banks are short on toiletry supplies, food, volunteers, and money. Please help if you can.
Food Lifeline: https://foodlifeline.org/covid19/
The University District Food Bank: https://www.udistrictfoodbank.org/donate/food/
FamilyWorks Family Resource Center and Food Banks: https://familyworksseattle.org/coronavirus-response/
North Helpline Emergency Services and Food Bank: https://www.northhelpline.org/
Mary’s Place Seattle: https://www.marysplaceseattle.org/
Ballard Food Bank: https://www.ballardfoodbank.org/
Information from Eckstein Principal Kristin Rose
Expectations regarding academic work will continue to evolve as the district responds to new state guidance. As it stands now, teachers are asked to communicate with families at least two times per week via Schoology, email, phone, or the typical way they connect with families throughout the school year. I know that you are getting many communications from teachers. This past week I asked teachers to state their content area and grade level in the subject line when they email and also use bullet points or lists to simplify the information they are sending.
Learn more about Schoology: https://support.schoology.com/hc/en-us/articles/201000873-Parent-Guide
Information From the SPS Superintendent
(condensed from the SPS Office of Pubic Affairs letter to families of March 25, 2020)
Stay in Touch, Eagles!
Did your student try out for a spring sport? If so, send Haley Stern a picture of your student showing their sporty side! email@example.com
Eckstein Social Media and Spirit Week
Check out Eckstein's Instagram account (@InsideEckstein) for daily "Kindness Dares" and now - Spirit Week! It was planned for next week, and will still go ahead, just altered for our current situation. Please join us by dressing up, posting on Instagram and using the hashtag #Ecksteinquarantinespiritweek.
Obviously, participation in this is voluntary and at your own comfort with social media. Any photos with that hashtag may be used in our daily stories @Insideeckstein Instagram account for our virtual Spirit Week. If you don’t have Instagram, you can email your photos to Mrs. Poort at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from the Library
Ms. Sterling's Reading Suggestions
Check out the 2019 end-of-the-year lists she put together!
Realistic Fiction Tough Issues Suggestions
Realistic Fiction Lighthearted Suggestions
Historical Fiction Suggestions
Graphic Novel Suggestions
Author of Color Suggestions
Access to Seattle Public Library's Digital Resources
Free eBooks and audiobooks through Seattle Public Library – yes, students already have a digital library card! Libby is a free app through the Seattle Public Library and students already have a digital library card that they will never get fines on. Follow steps below, but the digital card # is 990000 followed by the 7-digit student ID # which can be found on The Source. Their pin is their birthdate without the year. All students in middle and high schools have one of these! This digital library card can also be used to access some other digital resources as well – see below!
Send Love to a Senior
Eckstein Library is starting a campaign to send letters, cards, artwork, short videos, or other creations to senior centers in the area as they are the most adversely affected by COVID-19. We will be making a video compilation of items as well as sending physical items depending on the senior center and cleaning protocols. While we are closed, send an email to email@example.com with a picture of the item you or your student made!
Find the perfect place to read, read a book, snap a photo or draw a picture, share on social media with “WhereIRead, and email picture to Ms. Sterling. We’ll post on the Eckstein Library Instagram! Follow Eckstein Library on Instagram @ecksteinlibrary for book reviews, articles, and more!