Mental Health and Homeless Student Support
SCOE Podcast: Helping Children Recover from a Crisis | March 2018
In this podcast, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington talks with school psychologist Mary Champion about how to help children recover from a traumatic event, such as the fires that devastated Sonoma County, or any other crisis. The podcast includes: Warning signs for trauma, simple steps adults can take to help, and how adults can care for themselves during difficult times.
Podcast en Español
Haga clic aquí para escuchar el Podcast “Ayudando a Niños Recuperar de una Crisis” en Español. (“Helping Children Recover from a Crisis”)
Books and Guides for Parents
- Parents' guide to helping children who have experienced wild fires
- guide from the Parent-child Institute to help children recover after the northern California wildfires.
- coloring book specifically written for children who have been through major fires. It was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- Interactive book written by a local educator that is meant to help students share their feelings about the fire.
Information for Educators
School mental health and crisis response is being coordinated by SCOE's System of Support Team and the County's Crisis Assessment, Prevention, and Education team. They are responding to schools serving the hardest hit areas first.
Following are some resources that could be helpful.
- Guide: Grief Over the Holidays: Guidelines for Educators for Supporting Grieving Students Over the Holidays
- Psychological First Aid
Here is a psychological first aid guide for teachers from the California Teacher's Association
Educational Rights of Homeless/Displaced Students
Under law, students displaced by the fire are entitled to enroll in the nearest school district (not necessarily a specific school) to their temporary residence. Learn more about this and other resources for displaced students at SCOE's Homeless Education page.
Right to enroll of new district of residence
Countless children in our community have lost their homes. Per federal law, every student who has lost his or her home due to the disaster has the right to enroll in the school district in which they are temporarily housed. If they have had to move out of the county, this applies anywhere in the state.
This does not guarantee admittance into a specific school within the district, however. Districts will determine the school based on many factors, including available space.
To enroll, simply contact the school district of your current residence. If you're unsure which district that is, click here. You do not need documentation or proof of residence.
Transportation to original district
A displaced student can also remain in the school he/she was attending before the disaster and receive support for transportation to that school. To facilitate this, contact the school the student was already attending to notify them of your loss and get support.
Free/reduced lunch eligibility
A homeless/displaced child is also eligible for free/reduced lunch, regardless of family income.
This flier provides detailed information on the federal law that secures the rights of homeless students.McKinney-Vento Flier - English | McKinney-Vento Flier - Spanish