Back to school can feel like a fresh start: a new school year filled with new opportunities to support the nearly 1.1 million prek-12th grade students experiencing homelessness across the U.S. in new ways.
But we also know this work is hard. Secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout are real. We know that many of you keep your phones on at night and on the weekend, hoping to hear back from a student or parent, worrying about what happens to your students and their families after the school day is over. Your summer may not have been a time to recharge, yet you return to school trying to do all you can to support students and their families. We’ve been there: at SchoolHouse Connection, many of us have held the roles of teacher, school district homeless liaison, social worker, counselor, state coordinator.
Please consider us a part of your support team, ready to help you explore ideas, train, and troubleshoot. We offer you our refreshed awareness and training resources, and we welcome your suggestions for new tools.
This year, we’re especially committed to helping you make the most of the remaining twelve months of ARP-HCY funding to identify and support children and youth experiencing homelessness. We’ve expanded our “Flexing the Flexibility of ARP-HCY” series, which is filled with tips and examples from school districts across the country. We’re offering two SHC “office hours” in September, and a special information session on September 12 with Adam Schott, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. We hope you’ll join us at these or other SHC sessions, and we hope you’ll join our state and federal policy advocacy efforts, too.
The work is hard, yes, but the rewards are great. Thank you for your partnership, and for all you do to support children, youth, and families. Lastly, we’d like to leave you with an inspiring message from our scholars.
Your SchoolHouse Connection Team