PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As Oregon’s schools return to full-time in-person schooling, education officials know that this will bring a mix of emotions — ranging everywhere from excitement to nervousness.
In addition to those emotions, officials also point to the challenges returning to school will bring for students’ families and staff who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including those who experienced illness or loss.
In order to kick the school year off right, the Oregon Department of Education is launching a new statewide campaign, encouraging schools and school districts to designate the first full week of school as Care and Connection Week.
With Care and Connection Week, school leaders can devote the first week to activities to promote community and togetherness, along with building excitement for school with safety messaging. The campaign also aims to wecome students and families back in a special way, all while promoting equity and mental health wellness.
Each school can make this week unique — using art, music movement, nature and other ways for students to express themselves.
For more information on what Care and Connection Week means, visit this website. The ODE also provides resources to help students, families and staff with any mental and emotional health needs.