a screenshot students experiencing a virtual recess through video chat

During this time of physical distancing, there are ongoing efforts to build a digital community to help all of us stay connected during the ongoing pandemic and provide tools to help our students and families to create their own community in ways that best serves them. Across the district, counselors are offering “Lunch Bunch” conversations with all students who want to join, and elementary schools are offering the opportunity to participate in virtual recess and middle schools are coordinating online assemblies. Sammamish High School is hosting virtual coffee meetings with principals.

At International School, students were invited to participate in a virtual spirit week and a virtual BINGO game that included a variety of activities to encourage positive activities at home and connect students, like calling a friend, attending a class in pajamas, like a positive social media post and learn a new skill. At Tillicum students receive a daily bulletin that includes challenges to students to complete a “Tiger Challenge” and participate in a “Mindful Moment.”

The Mental Health Assistance Team (MHAT) is offering meetings via Microsoft Teams for high school students on a variety of topics, including mindfulness, distress tolerance and gratitude. They are also offering “Togetherness Thursdays” for activities like yoga and crafting. Both of those are scheduled through the middle of June. If students and families want to get more information on joining, please contact your counselor.

BSD students and teachers have engaged in service to the community in many forms, including creating art dedicated to health care workers, creating videos, and making masks. Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) at Big Picture have honored Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by designing an online lesson for students – it is available on their website.

The internet has an endless amount of advice and ideas for staying connected during the pandemic, including a variety of apps, playing virtual games with another person, writing physical letters or emailing with friends and relatives, playing games over video call and much more.