Keeping student life FLO-ing during COVID-19
Many of the young people participating in our Flexible Learning Options (FLO) have already been faced with a number of life’s challenges; including homelessness, mental ill health, bullying and family issues. When COVID-19 struck, it presented yet another compounding challenge for these young people, but our FLO program has been a constant source of positivity and a lifeline reconnecting them with opportunities to get their learning back on track.
The NESPN Community Learning Centre (NESPN CLC) continued to operate during the pandemic and the FLO team introduced a range of wellbeing initiatives and ‘check-ins’ to support students who were needing to self-isolate. These included:
- ‘Buddying Up’ – every student was assigned a buddy to provide support, human connection and just ‘be there’ to have a chat
- Safety and Support Plans for each student to support their health & wellbeing
- A learning from home model for students to access work online via ‘Learn links’ and ‘Microsoft Teams’, whilst also continuing with face to face learning on site
- Additional wellbeing supports such as virtual tours, mindfulness activities and fitness programs.
Students who self-isolated were also provided with ongoing case management via Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
A number of young people have really benefited from the outreach provided by the FLO team over recent months. *Flynn is one such student. Initially he found the self-isolation imposed by COVID-19 really challenging. The lack of face to face social engagement both in school and home life resulted in mental health issues and stagnation in pursuing his goals. Since receiving support from the FLO team he has re-engaged with classes and case management. He has worked extremely well in class and is currently considering volunteering on site in order to re-establish his routine and pursue his goals.
*Not his real name