CJUSD’s ‘Grand Reopening’ focuses on returning students’ social and emotional health
When students return to Colton High School on August 4th, be ready to celebrate.
The ‘Grand Reopening’ is a district-wide initiative to embrace returning students after a year in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It emphasizes the social and emotional health of students.
“The idea came from various discussions with cabinet and principals about the tone we wanted to set for the start of school and that after being in Distance Learning for so long, we definitely wanted it to be a celebratory time to have everyone back on campus together again,” CJUSD Superintendent Frank Miranda, Ed.D., said. “On a personal level I thought, ‘if it were my own son were arriving attending class on one of our school campuses after so long, what would I want that to look like and how would I want him to be welcomed? It should definitely feel joyous and special.”
At Colton High School, the ‘Grand Reopening’ will extend over the first eight days of school. Daily activities include social-emotional instruction during class, extended day lessons supporting mental health, student games at lunch, and events in the campus Wellness Center.
Students will receive “swag bags” that include t-shirts, water bottles, and other goodies. They will also be given pocket brochures featuring coping strategies for handling stressful situations.
CJUSD will provide each student with a #CJUSDCares T-shirt. They have also partnered with local Chinese restaurant Pick-Up Stix to provide lunch on the first day of school.
Evelin Villa, Wellness Center Coordinator, explained the rationale behind the event, “To have a successful school year, we all have to do our part in maintaining safety protocols and continue to look out for each other’s mental health by encouraging students to seek help and accept help when needed.”
The COVID-19 pandemic taught everyone a lot about the importance of social and emotional health. During the past year, many within the Colton community suffered some form of trauma. This in mind, CHS is placing focus on student belonging, relationships, and well-being.
Diyaira Durham, CHS Vice-Principal, in her presentation to staff, said, “As we welcome students and adults back to school for the 2021-22 school year, we must take what we’ve learned and chart a new path forward.”