- Smith Middle School
School Support Hosts Day Long Wellness Retreat
By Stuart Phillips, CHCCS Communications Specialist
The all-day CHCCS School Support and Wellness Retreat 2023 took place on August 22 at Carrboro High School. From the inspired and inspiring keynote speaker, Cheryl Fuller, to the presenters from NCDPI, the Triangle mental health community – and many of the district’s own school support leaders – the caliber of professional learning was high and the range of sessions extremely diverse.
Every year the School Support and Wellness team plans a Back to School Professional Learning Conference to, first, remind student services staff how critical their roles are in ensuring every child has equitable access to success during the school year, and second, to provide staff with resources and learning experiences to support them in eliminating barriers to learning in their respective schools.
Chief of School Support and Wellness, Dr. Charlos Banks, said, “Given the growing need for our schools to establish environments where students and staff see and feel that their overall wellbeing is a priority, our team took the feedback provided through staff need assessments and used it to develop a day that supported our work of cultivating a sense of belonging in schools.”
As instructional staff worked together at Smith Middle and Chapel Hill High Schools, hundreds of Support and Wellness staff convened at CHS, including all EC staff, School Social Workers, Counselors, Psychologists and Mental Health Specialists. Some sessions were general and relevant to all, like Self-Care for Educators and the Ethics of Cultural Humility. Other sessions were designed for EC TAs, Adapted Curriculum Teachers, secondary counselors and compliance specialists, to name a few.
Topics included “Legislative Updates and Hot Topics in School Counseling,” “Successful Family Engagement,” “Educationally Equitable Evaluation and Identification Process” and “Progress Monitoring SMART Goals for Students on the Adapted Curriculum.”
Nationally acclaimed veteran educator and professional developer, Cheryl Fuller, kicked off the morning in the auditorium with a presentation on “Creating Relationships and Emotional Safety with Trauma Survivors.” For the next six hours, sessions took place in spaces throughout the school, including a transportation training for EC TAs in the gym.
“It was amazing,” said Banks. “I am so happy that my team supported me and actualized this professional learning experience for our staff.”
CHCCS District Headlines stories are written on a regular basis by the CHCCS Division of Communications, with assistance from a network of school-based “storytellers” who share tips and ideas throughout the school year. The goal is to share real-world examples of the CHCCS Strategic Plan in action. Know about a story worth telling from your school? Contact the CHCCS Communications team at email@example.com.