A Message from Superintendent Pero: Fostering Student Resiliency

Resilience is the capacity to rise above difficult circumstances, enabling children to exist in this less than perfect world, while moving forward with optimism and confidence.

In fall 2016, school counselors and psychologists from Pittsford Schools attended a full-day conference focused on trauma and resiliency of youth, presented by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, a noted pediatrician and expert on the subject of building resilience in children and young adults. The conference validated what PCSD knew about students and their social-emotional well-being and challenged us to continue our focused work on resilience.  A grant proposal was submitted in November 2017 to participate in the Reaching Teens Toolkit Project in Monroe County and the District was approved to join the countywide Learning Collaborative.

Since that time, PCSD staff members who were identified as “Resiliency Champions” have collaborated across the District to inform school stakeholders of the negative impact of trauma on our students and the positive impact of connections. Some of the important work that has been completed includes learning about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma and its impact on students and staff, resiliency and social-emotional assets. Additionally, each school in the District has completed a project where staff identified if students were connected to adults in their building and took action to ensure that at least one adult was connected with each student.

Moving forward, the PCSD Resiliency Champions consortium plans to add staff representation from each building and an administrator from each level to support ongoing work in this area. The original grant group continues to participate in the Learning Collaborative. They attend quarterly county meetings, share their status and plans and bring suggestions back to PCSD to inform our work. One goal for 2018-19 school year is to have students complete a project focused on assets and ask them to identify a trusted adult in their school community. For more information, please contact the Student Services Department, your child’s school counselor, school psychologist or follow this link: http://fosteringresilience.com/about.php