Round Rock ISD works to ease back-to-school anxieties after pandemic closures

Education

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock Independent School District is working to ease student’s back to school transition through emotional learning camps.

With school just a few weeks away, many students will be entering the classroom for the first time — Champ Barron is one of them.

“My parents were like okay now you’re able to go to school, and I said: Okay, Thank you,” said Champ Barron.

Champ going into the 6th grade this year. The tall ceilings, lockers and more freedom makes for an unfamiliar but exciting new environment for Champ; and undoubtedly a difficult one after the year of COVID-19 isolation.

Champ Barron prepares for 6th grade (KXAN/Kaitlyn Karmout)

“I felt that they made the ceilings higher, because it makes you feel short,” said Barron. “I feel like it’s kinda big and it suggests that we have big dreams ahead, so we might as well have a big classroom.”

That’s how Champ felt walking into the Chisholm Middle School for one of Round Rock’s learning camps.

“We started thinking about how do we get ahead of this, and then it was we can do camps for those transitioning to middle school,” said Amy Grosso Round Rock Director of Behavioral Health Services. “We felt we could ease them through the process and be proactive for their mental health.”

The camps are led by counselors and social workers who work for Round Rock ISD. Charlotte Justice is one of them.

“We’re helping kids develop the silks to repair when those connections are not as easy,” said Justice. “They haven’t had as much practice this past year.”

It also gives Champ the chance to see the spirit of his future school.

“In the cafeteria there are signs that say bullying is not allowed, and there’s rewards for that. I’m very excited about no bullying,” said Barron.

Round Rock is holding seven of these Social Emotional Learning Camps. All of the slots filled up almost immediately about they were announced.

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