East Windsor Regional School District COVID-19 Resource Guide
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:
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.
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
Trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer questions about coronavirus. The call is free.
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
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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 email@example.com 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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Virtual Relaxation Room
- Middle & High School Activities
- Mandela creator
- Elementary Activities