A Class in COVID: Increased anxiety, educational gaps expected as students return to school

Health

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — When it comes to kids and teens, Hartford HealthCare psychologist Laura Saunders says attending school is very important.

“They really need the structure, the academic stimulation and the socialization,” Saunders said.

A Class in COVID: Set up your back to school routines early

She said students will return to classes with not just educational gaps, but with fear and anxiety.

“Remember, many of them have been isolated for months and that really takes a toll as well,” Saunders said.

That toll will be felt more on at-risk kids, according to Doctor Robert Keder of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Keder said the pandemic is “really showing the pandemic that kids from families that might be experiencing healthcare or educational disparities are struggling even more because of the dual pandemics.”

He said schools will need something called ‘trauma informed care.’

“It’s something we have to actively think and talk about but this is where it’s really important for schools to work with their school psychologists or social workers to help provide a support network for the teachers who are the front lines,” Keder said.

He said teachers will need a new network to help process it all, and that no one should have to go through this new normal alone.

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