Message from Superintendent Shay Mikalson:
The holiday season can be a stressful time for some children and families. Breaks from school mean changes to routines and extra demands on time. I believe we should ensure that our students are aware of the multiple avenues available to them to share information that concerns them, 24-hours a day.
Two year ago, nearly to the day, we launched First Step, a suite of tip and talk resources available on every student’s iPad in grades 6-12. We hoped to encourage students to reach out when they needed help or wanted to connect with staff, law enforcement or resources.
This tool has been a resounding success. FirstStep has been embraced by our students. FirstStep has received thousands visits and has resulted in a multitude of tips; we respond to each and every one.
Inside First Step students find resources like, “3 Ways to Help a Friend,” “Getting Through Today,” contacts for free counseling and two featured resources: SafeOregon and YouthLine.
If you have not already done so, you are encouraged you to sit down and take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the First Step tools and to talk to your children about them.
SafeOregon allows students and families to report information that involves students, the safety of their fellow students or their school 24-hours-a-day. With SafeOregon, students can report anything from vandalism to theft to cyberbullying via text or phone, email, or online.
Line’s for Life’s YouthLine is a free and confidential teen-to-teen help line. Students are encouraged to contact YouthLine via phone, text, chat, and email to talk about anything that may be bothering them. Teens are available to help daily from 4-10 p.m. Pacific Time (adults are available by phone at all other times).
Student Mental Health Webpage
I’d also like to ask that you and your child(ren) take a look at the many other community resources available by stopping by Student Mental Health webpage. Here, you will also find the hours that our School Based Health Clinics in Bend and La Pine will be open during the break, among many other resources.
From all of us at Bend-La Pine Schools, we hope you have a safe, peaceful and happy holiday season.
Superintendent Shay Mikalson