Counseling & Guidance Services » East Windsor Regional School District COVID-19 Resource Guide

East Windsor Regional School District COVID-19 Resource Guide

Covid

These past few months have been unprecedented for students, families, and staff. What was originally a brief suspension of “normal” activities continues indefinitely and has changed every aspect of our lives. This guide was put together to provide timely resources that may be useful as you and your family continue to adjust to the changes resulting from the pandemic. Please take a moment to review the resources below.

 

The National Association for School Psychologists put together the resource “Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19” to help support families during this crisis. The guidance can be found here:


English

Spanish

 

Returning to School

As we prepare to return to schools, students will face many challenges and changes. One of the most visible changes will be everyone wearing a face mask, and many students, particularly young children, will have difficulty adjusting to wearing them for an extended period of time. Here are some suggestions to help your child build a tolerance to wearing a mask:


Practice!- The more students wear a mask, the more accustomed they will become to wearing one on a regular basis. Start by wearing the mask at home for brief periods of time, and slowly extend that time. Set an achievable time limit, and reward your child with a small reward for achieving the goal.


Provide Choice- Children may be more likely to wear a mask if they feel a sense of ownership. If you are purchasing a mask, consider having your child participate in the decision-making process. Also, help your child decorate the mask


Use a social story- For young children, watch this video with your child: Video: We Wear Masks – A Social Story about the coronavirus


For students who are deaf or hard of hearing: If your child has a cochlear implant or hearing aids, you may want to choose a mask with straps in the back rather than an ear loop mask. Earloop masks can cause extra noise as it rubs against the ears that may be annoying to those who use hearing aids or cochlear implants. (https://www.childrensmn.org/2020/06/05/make-face-masks-comfortable-kids/)


Listen, and acknowledge their concerns: Many people struggle with change, and this holds true for children. Many children have not yet developed coping strategies to deal with all of the changes that have occurred, and feelings of confusion, sadness, and fear are not uncommon. Allow your child to speak and share their concerts, and stick to the facts when reassuring them. Remind them that you and the school community have taken many steps to protect them from COVID, and that they can play their part by wearing a mask and social distancing. If you are concerned about your child’s emotional reaction to the transition to school, please do not hesitate to contact their school counselor.


The links below will take you to a storybook that explains COVID and how students can protect themselves against the virus. The illustrated book is suitable for young children and explains the importance of handwashing and social distancing.


My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19- English

My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19- Spanish


Also, the Child Mind Institute has compiled a number of resources to assist families. The resources can be accessed here.

 

We are all learning how to adapt to our roles as we adjust to the new normal. Please know that you are not alone. EWRSD counselors and child study team members are here to support all students and their families via phone or web conferencing. If you need support outside of school hours, please see the resources listed below on this page.

 

 

24-Hour Public Coronavirus Hotline

1-800-222-1222     

Trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer questions about coronavirus. The call is free.

 

 

Health Resources

 

If you need a thermometer to monitor your child’s temperature, please call your child’s school to request one and include your child’s name and address. We will send you a thermometer. Supplies are limited to the first 500 requests.

 

 

Hightstown Walk-Up Test Site Information

If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your primary health care practitioner. If a test is needed, your doctor must fax a prescription to the Mercer County health call center at 609-630-4031, and the center will contact you to schedule an appointment. If you voice an inability to get to Quaker Bridge Mall drive through site, you will be offered an appointment at the Hightstown pop-up site along with instructions on when and where to go. If you do not have a doctor, call an urgent care facility and if uninsured call the Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton (609-278-5900) to arrange for screening. Many health providers are screening individuals by telemedicine and issuing prescriptions for testing when needed.
 
If you have questions about the testing process, call 609-337-4081 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Español, call 609-436-5038 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

 

The Diabetes Foundation

The foundation has opened a hotline for individuals living with all types of diabetes to receive a free two-week Diabetes Backup Emergency Supply Kit and Diabetes Emergency Insulin Administration Supply Kit. Anyone needing an emergency backup kit can apply to receive one by visiting diabetesfoundationinc.org or calling 973-849-5234.

 

How can I get treatment for COVID-19 if I'm uninsured or undocumented? How do I cover health costs associated with COVID-19?

For answers to these questions, please click here.

 

Henry J. Austin Health Center (HJA)

HJA reports that they have plenty of capacity to conduct testing. Anyone, regardless of insurance status, can call 609-278-5900 to be registered for testing. Test results are typically available within 3-4 days.

 

Mental Health Supports

 

The Parent Support Network of Central New Jersey, developed by the Youth Mental Health Project and sponsored by NAMI Mercer, is a parent-driven family-focused program to support parents/caregivers who are concerned about their kids' struggles with anxiety, depression and/or emotional dysregulation. NAMI Mercer hosts regular monthly meetings of The Parent Support Network of Central New Jersey, providing parents who are concerned about their child's mental health and well-being with the opportunity to give and receive valuable peer connection and insight through in-person, confidential, informational meetings run by and for parents.


The Crisis Text Line 

The text line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via text messaging. Simply send a text to 741741. Your opening message can say anything. 


Catholic Charities of Mercer County (East Windsor)

Catholic Charities is operational (4/6/20) and offering clinical services to the community via telephone and web-based platforms.  Call (800) 360-7711 to be connected with a clinician.


2nd Floor Youth Helpline

If you prefer to talk, the 2nd Floor Youth Helpline can be accessed 24/7 at 1-888-222-2228. You must be between the ages of 10-24 to access the confidential and anonymous hotline.


JFCS

JFCS is offering a free 30-minute phone session to anyone in the community that is interested.  The goal of the phone session is to provide an outlet to share concerns and gain coping skills. Time slots scheduled for each day of the week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00 - 12:00; Tuesday and Thursday 5:00 - 7:00. Please call 609-987-8100 Ext. 0 if interested. More information on JFCS mental health resources can be found here.


GenPsych

GenPsych offers psychiatric evaluations, medication protocols, substance abuse treatment, military programs, group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy. During the COVID  crisis, GenPsych is providing telepsychiatry services. To schedule a new or follow up out-patient appointment for medication management or individual therapy, please contact the Hamilton office at (609) 403-6190 or email at info@genpsych.com.


Icare of East Windsor/Hightstown

Parent Support Network

iCare works with NAMI and The Youth Mental Health Project to bring parent support meetings to Hightstown on a monthly basis. Due to the current stay at home orders, Icare has moved the meetings to an online format. Click the link here to register.


Peer Grief Support

iCare has created a peer support group for young adults that have lost a friend or sibling to suicide or drug overdose. As a young adult, losing a friend at a young age can feel very confusing and lonely. This group is a chance to be able to share your feelings with those who understand the most. During the stay at home order, meetings will move to a Zoom format. The next meeting will is scheduled for Thursday, April 9th at 7:00 PM. The Zoom link is here.


Mental Health NJ Cares

The state’s behavioral health information and referral service now also offers free, confidential help to people dealing with anxiety and worry related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Call 1-866-202-HELP (4357).


Performcare - Mobile Response Services

Available 24 hours a day,  7 days a week to help children and youth who are experiencing emotional or behavioral crisis. The services are designed to defuse an immediate crisis, keep children and their families safe, and maintain the children in their own homes or current living situations (such as a foster home, treatment home or group home) in the community. Call 1-877-652-7624. 

 

Mental Health America- COVID-19 Resources

 

The Rise Social Services team is still offering the following services by phone call, text, or email:

 

  • Case management
  • Translation services with health professionals
  • Coordination of special food deliveries

For more information, please call (609)-443-4464.

 

Domestic Violence

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.

New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline

The New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for domestic violence victims and others seeking crisis intervention, information, and/or referral services. All calls to the hotline at 800-572-7233 (800-572-SAFE) are confidential. 

 

Womanspace

Womanspace provides services to individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for adults and their families. Programs include crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, court advocacy, and housing services. Contact its crisis line, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 609-394-9000. Deaf or hard of hearing consumers are encouraged to text 609-619-1888. Its counseling office can be reached at 609-394-2532 Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Womanspace's main office number is 609-394-0136. 

 

Food Services


EWRSD Breakfast & Lunch

The school district will continue to offer grab and go breakfast and lunch items for all students on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the following schools:


  • Ethel McKnight Elementary School
  • Grace N. Rogers Elementary School

If your family is experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the current health crisis, you may enroll your child(ren) in the Free and Reduced Price School Meals Program, by submitting an application.  Please click here to enter the Parent Portal to complete an online application, or click here for additional information.  Please reach out to Paul Todd, Business Administrator, at ptodd@ewrsd.k12.nj.us or 609-443-7717, ext. 2028, with any questions regarding the process.


 

JFCS Community Food Pantry

The food pantry is open to everyone in the community. You can call 609-987-8100 ext. 237 to set up an assessment apppointment and a shopping schedule. An emergency one-time shop is available for walk-ins. For more information please see below:

 

Community Food Pantry Flyer (English)

Community Food Pantry Flyer (Spanish)

 

Rise Snack Shack

The Snack Shack is located at the Rise Thrift Store, located at 114 Rogers Ave in Hightstown. Any student of East Windsor/Hightstown can stop by for snacks and a drink. During the stay at home mandate, snacks will be delivered curbside and volunteers are practicing social distancing. 


JFCS Food Truck

The JFCS Mobile Food Truck brings the resources of their pantry on the road to locations across Mercer County. At each location, they park our fully-stocked truck and distribute groceries to those in need. If you are in need of food, please call 609-987-8100 Ext. 237.

 

The Pantry at Princeton Alliance Church

The Pantry offers supplemental groceries, personal care, baby care and domestic items. During the summer, fresh vegetables and eggs are available through our church garden and relationships with local farmers. To begin the process, email a request for access to the pantry at hcwc@princetonalliance.org.


Housing

If you lose your housing for any reason, please contact the district Homeless Liaison David Roe at 609-443-7717 ext. 2014 to be apprised of your rights and to be connected with resources.


SEL Activities


Stop, Breathe and Think App (free) - App allows students to check in with how they are feeling and create their very own force field of calm. For children ages 5-10.