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How should I talk to my junior high-aged child (7th and 8th) about COVID-19?

We know you might be feeling some anxieties or worries about school being closed.  That is why we want to give you facts about why we are not coming to school right now:
  • Right now, there is a virus called Coronavirus that is very contagious.  The virus is thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another or through droplets when someone coughs or sneezes.  
  • We are taking steps to make sure that all staff and students are safe!  Scientists think the best way to prevent spreading this virus is to avoid being exposed to it! This is why we are staying home from school!
  • You can take steps to protect yourself from the virus by washing your hands really well for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Some people like to sing songs to help them make sure that 20 seconds have passed.  Here is a challenge for you: Find a song you can sing that takes 20 seconds!  (You can use your iPad timer to help you.)
If you are feeling anxious or worried about this, that’s really normal.  You can always talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. 
Here are some other things for you to try.  You can try a different one each day if you would like!
Make a List of Trusted Adults Write down at least three adults in your life that you can talk to when you are feeling difficult emotions such as worried.  You can keep this list somewhere safe so that you have it if you need it.
Breathing Strategies Practice one of the following breathing strategies to help you settle your mind and body so that you can feel calm and peaceful. 
Deep Breathing Find a comfortable spot to lie down on your back.  Place your hand on your stomach and take a deep breath in through your nose, as you breath in feel your belly rise. Breathe out through your mouth and as you do feel your belly lower.  Complete this three more times.
Focused Breaths Close your eyes and take a few big, deep breaths.  As you breath in imagine that the air is filled with a sense of calm.  Try to feel this throughout your body.  Think of a statement that you can repeat to yourself as you breathe in such as “I breathe in calmness” and as you breathe out such as “I breath out worry.” Repeat this 5-10 times.
Four Square Breathing Use the box below to practice four square breathing.  Run your finger across the square while practicing the breathing techniques.
Practice your Calming-Down Steps Pick a feeling from this list:
Irritated, scared, worried, upset, frustrated
Think of a time you felt that feeling in a strong way.
Stop and name the feeling you have.  (“I feel worried.”)
Practice a breathing exercise from above.
Now that you have stopped, named your feeling, and tried a calming strategy, notice if you feel more relaxed.
Find Fun! When you are feeling anxious or worried, it can help to do something fun!  What are some things you especially enjoy doing?  Here are some ideas:
Play a board game (or design your own!).
Take a walk outside or ride your bike!
Paint, draw, or build something new!
FaceTime or call a friend or family member to catch up and see how they have been spending their time.
Let Your Worries Go! If you are still feeling like you can’t stop thinking about the worries you have try one of the following activities to help you feel more relaxed.
Worry Box
Create a “worry box” by decorating a box with a small hole in the top.
Fold sheets of paper into 4ths
When worries come up in your head write them down on the paper and place them in the box.
Once the worry is in the box try to leave it there.
Worry Time
Ask a trusted adult to sit down with you to listen to your worries. 
Set a timer on your IPad or another device for 3 minutes.
Start the timer and share your worries with your trusted adult. (Note to Adults: Do not spend time trying to fix these worries, just listen)
When the timer goes off take a deep breath and move on to a new activity!
Throw it Away
Write on a piece of paper whatever it is that is worrying you.
Crumble it up and throw it away!
Visualize in your mind that the worry is gone.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

  • Central Office
  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
  • Office Hours: M - F 7:30am - 4:30pm 
  • (317) 594-4100  (800) 905-6665

  • HSE Schools wants to hear from you! To send a general inquiry to the District Administration Office, click here. 

Our Mission

Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides educational opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.