The New Normal: How One CIS Team Member is Supporting Students Back at School

Chavara, a Student Supports Manager with Communities In Schools of Chicago, supports students at Clay Elementary on the Far South Side.

Students are readjusting to the structure of the school day.

Students who were in sixth grade when the pandemic began have returned to school full-time as eighth graders. Kindergarteners have returned as second graders. Those are periods of major development for young people, Chavara said.

Students are relearning how to socialize with their peers.

Students were isolated during lock-down, their interactions often limited to members of their household. Now that they are back in school, they have to navigate a barrage of interactions with their peers, teachers, coaches, and more. At Chavara’s school, enrollment went up this fall with 40 students transferring in. This has added another layer to student interaction.

Students need mental and emotional support.

Many students are carrying an invisible weight of trauma. For some students, traumatic events occurred during or because of the pandemic. For some, their trauma was exacerbated by the pandemic.

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Communities In Schools of Chicago

Communities In Schools of Chicago

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.