Site coordinator Maria hands out hygiene supplies to a middle school student

During a typical school year, Site Coordinator Maria connects with students in her office at North Pines Middle School. These types of check-ins now happen virtually while schools are remote, but they are no less important to students’ social-emotional wellbeing.

Photo credit: CIS of Spokane County.

Students have been through a lot this year, and we know that it’s going to take communities coming together to help them heal from the pandemic. According to a national survey by America’s Promise Alliance, 30% of young people say that they have been feeling depressed and that they are more concerned than usual about having their basic needs met. A similar percentage say they do not feel connected to school adults, their classmates, or their school community. We believe that students are resilient and capable of overcoming great challenges—but we also believe they shouldn’t have to overcome these challenges alone.

To improve social-emotional wellness for students, we’re excited to announce that the state office, CIS of Spokane County, and CIS of Whatcom-Skagit have partnered with All Points North Foundation. With an investment of $60,000 from All Points North Foundation, CIS will aim to impact the lives of 64 case-managed students at North Pines Middle School in Spokane and LaVenture Middle School in Mount Vernon. At these two rural schools, CIS will identify students’ social-emotional strengths and needs using an assessment specifically developed by the National CIS office. This Social, Emotional, and Academic Development Assessment (or SEAD for short) quantifies behavioral health in several areas (e.g., self-control, social networks, emotional regulation) and helps Site Coordinators tailor resources to each student. From virtual small groups to mental health care connections, Site Coordinators will ensure that students have a mix of social-emotional supports needed to be their whole selves—during the pandemic and after.