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ACS launches Closegap to support mental health

ACS launches Closegap to support mental and emotional health
Posted on 11/12/2020
How are you?” is a question often asked in passing between strangers, friends, coworkers or acquaintances. But that question, “How are you,” can go a long way in identifying students who are struggling with emotional and mental health.

In today’s technology-driven world, especially amidst a global pandemic, it can be difficult for even the most watchful parent and teacher to detect the signs of a struggling student, and many times, children aren’t comfortable going directly to an adult first. So, to help meet the needs of the whole child, Arlington Community Schools will utilize a new service called Closegap to provide students with a little extra support and a venue for further discussion.

This platform, which will be available to all children in grades 3-12, allows students to complete a daily emotional wellness check-in and offers brief coping skills solutions that students can practice in the moment. Counselors and parents can receive feedback as often as desired to ensure they are aware of how students are feeling. If a situation warrants intervention, a trusted adult will be there to help.

How Closegap Works

To participate in Closegap, parents must opt their child into the program, and although participation is absolutely voluntary, we do highly encourage 3-12 graders to participate so we can best meet the needs of our students.

To opt into Closegap, visit this link.

Each morning, students will be prompted either by a teacher or through their iPad to complete the short Closegap activity. If a child indicates they need help, a counselor may be notified so we can be more responsive to the students’ emotional needs.

Students and parents will also be able to track the responses over time to get a better perspective on their mental and emotional health.

For additional questions, please contact the ACS Social & Transition Specialists at Constance Certion or Erin Williams.