Hello Upham Community,

Good morning. Please be safe. I wanted to send along a special message from Dr. Hoitash (Upham’s Outstanding School Psychologist) that gives some sound advice in dealing with the COVID-19 Epidemic. 


Dear Families:

We miss your children and think of you often.  While we know that every family is experiencing this extended period of social distancing differently, we are all experiencing some degree of heightened stress and anxiety during this uncertain time.  

Here are a couple of posts from the professionals at childmind.org to help us manage our anxiety:

Make peace with uncertainty

This situation is one of extreme uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen, how long it will last or what things will be like when it’s over. One thing we do know, however, is that worrying about it won’t change the outcome. Learning how to tolerate uncertainty is a huge part of building healthy coping skills for ourselves, which we then want to model for our children. “Right now it’s very easy to let your brain spin out with the frightening possibilities,” warns Dr. Anderson. “Practicing mindfulness helps bring us back to the present, and away from the brink.”

Be realistic

“Perfectionism and the coronavirus don’t mix,” says David Anderson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. “It’s time to be exceedingly realistic, both at work and as a parent.” Avoid burnout by setting realistic expectations and giving yourself grace if you can’t meet them. “Practice forgiveness and self-compassion,” says Dr. Anderson. Parents should remind themselves that these are unprecedented times. “There’s no playbook for this. Remember you’re doing your best during a very difficult time. Cut yourself some slack.”

Just like adults, some children are also feeling increased anxiety. Please, keep in mind that not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children

  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)

  • Excessive worry or sadness

  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits

  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens

  • Difficulty with attention and concentration

  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past

  • Unexplained headaches or body pain


If you are concerned about your own mental health or the mental health of a family member, there are resources available.  The Human Relations Service, a community mental health agency that works with the Wellesley Public Schools is providing telehealth counseling services.  For more information, visit their website: http://www.hrshelps.org/


Please remember to go to the Wellesley Public Schools Remote Learning Website and check out the ‘School Psychologists’ page where you will find many resources to support the social-emotional needs of your children during this unusual time: https://sites.google.com/wellesleyps.org/wpsremotelearning/elementary/additional-parent-resources/school-psychologists


Finally, feel free to connect with the school psychologist at your school.  We are here to help.


Take care,

Megan Cassidy, Hunnewell

Lisa Goodman, Hardy 

Sharon Grossman, Fiske 

Rebecca Hoitash, Upham

Scott Marder, Sprague

Kayla O’Brien, Hunnewell

Rebecca Robert, Schofield

Kathryn Stanley, Bates

Terry Weksel, Preschool At Wellesley Schools (P.A.W.S.)


The content in this email was compiled with the help of these sources:






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