Fordson School Psychologist

Michelle Jawad, Certified School Psychologist for the Dearborn Public Schools

Feeling Stressed? Try Mindfulness

Health, Wellness, and Mindfulness Resources for Home

Written by: Leslie Ballentine

Overall health is a combination of physical, emotional, and psychological wellness. When you want to be truly healthy, you need to take care to put the best foods and drinks into your body. You also need to use your body regularly, giving it beneficial activity and exercise so you maintain healthy muscle and avoid adding excess weight. Wellness also involves monitoring your emotional and psychological health by practicing mindfulness, which can help reduce anxiety and help you feel happier.

Overall Health and Wellness

  • How to Eat Healthy: Eating healthy includes focusing on fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains, and eating foods that are low in fat.
  • Healthy Eating for Healthy Weight: A healthy diet should include lean meats, skinless poultry, fresh fish, beans, and eggs to provide protein.
  • How to Build a Healthy Eating Pattern: Variety is important when eating healthfully, so it’s important to eat foods from all of the food groups to get all of the necessary nutrients.
  • Ten Tips: Healthy Eating for an Active Lifestyle: Choosing foods with a high nutrient content such as whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products helps to provide the necessary vitamins you need without excess calories.
  • Healthy Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging, but obesity can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Make Healthy Choices for Your Lifestyle: Unhealthy life choices such as inactivity, poor diet, and smoking can lead to chronic illness and even premature death.
  • What Is a Healthy Relationship? A healthy relationship involves healthy communication, boundaries, and mutual respect between parties.
  • Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids: When parents model wellness and healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, children are more likely to follow their parents’ lead.
  • Weight Loss: Losing weight can be challenging, but being ready to make permanent and beneficial changes in your lifestyle is the first step to success.
  • How to Handle Food Cravings: Craving unhealthy food can be difficult, but you can overcome these impulses by scheduling your eating, keeping a journal of your craving tendencies, and choosing distractions instead of eating when cravings hit.

Mindfulness Resources

Fitness and Exercise at Home

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Feeling Stressed? CDC offers helpful suggestions

Employees: How to Cope with Job Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated May 5, 2020

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Whether you are going into work or working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has probably changed the way you work. Fear and anxiety about this new disease and other strong emotions can be overwhelming, and workplace stress can lead to burnoutexternal icon. How you cope with these emotions and stress can affect your well-being, the well-being of the people you care about, your workplace, and your community. During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience and manage job stress, and know where to go if you need help. Recognize the symptoms of stress you may be experiencing.

  • Feeling irritation, anger, or in denial
  • Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  • Lacking motivation
  • Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having trouble concentrating

Know the common work-related factors that can add to stress during a pandemic:

  • Concern about the risk of being exposed to the virus at work
  • Taking care of personal and family needs while working
  • Managing a different workload
  • Lack of access to the tools and equipment needed to perform your job
  • Feelings that you are not contributing enough to work or guilt about not being on the frontline
  • Uncertainty about the future of your workplace and/or employment
  • Learning new communication tools and dealing with technical difficulties
  • Adapting to a different workspace and/or work schedule

Follow these tips to build resilience and manage job stress.

  • Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and employees about job stress while maintaining social distancing (at least 6 feet).
    • Identify things that cause stress and work together to identify solutions.
    • Talk openly with employers, employees, and unions about how the pandemic is affecting work. Expectations should be communicated clearly by everyone.
    • Ask about how to access mental health resources in your workplace.
  • Identify those things which you do not have control over and do the best you can with the resources available to you.
  • Increase your sense of control by developing a consistent daily routine when possible — ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.
    • Keep a regular sleep scheduleexternal icon.
    • Take breaks from work to stretch, exercise, or check in with your supportive colleagues, coworkers, family, and friends.
    • Spend time outdoors, either being physically active or relaxing.
    • If you work from home, set a regular time to end your work for the day, if possible.
    • Practice mindfulness techniquesexternal icon.
    • Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
  • Know the facts about COVID-19. Be informed about how to protect yourself and others. Understanding the risk and sharing accurate information with people you care about can reduce stress and help you make a connection with others.
  • Remind yourself that each of us has a crucial role in fighting this pandemic.
  • Remind yourself that everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally exhausting
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns, how you are feeling, or how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you.
    • Connect with others through phone calls, email, text messages, mailing letters or cards, video chat, and social media.
    • Check on others. Helping others improves your sense of control, belonging, and self-esteem. Look for safe ways to offer social support to others, especially if they are showing signs of stress, such as depression and anxiety.
  • If you feel you may be misusing alcohol or other drugs (including prescription drugs) as a means of coping, reach out for help.
  • If you are being treated for a mental health condition, continue with your treatment and be aware of any new or worsening symptoms.

Know where to go if you need help or more information.

If you feel you or someone in your household may harm themselves or someone else:

If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety:

If you need to find treatment or mental health providers in your area:

Mental Health Resources

COVID-19 Resources

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FHS Remote Learning Plan

As of Monday, April 20, 2020 – ALL classroom activities for ALL students COUNT towards earning credit for each class. All activities will be assessed through STUDENT engagement and STUDENT participation. STUDENTS who are having difficulty with the activities or participation are to reach out to their teachers for additional support. Teachers will be logging contact with students as well as maintaining records of STUDENT engagement and participation. 

In the Governor’s Executive Order, it is mandated that students are to continue their education to prepare them to transition to the next phase of their education and complete the Michigan Merit Curriculum for graduation. That means that the answer is YES, ALL STUDENT assignments and participation counts for every student at Fordson High School.

Here’s a few highlights for online learning:

  • Starting this Monday April 20th, students need to check in with their teachers twice a week and submit their work each Sunday (see below) to get credit for 2nd semester.
  • Students who are checking in regularly and passing 75% of their assignments have the ability to earn an “A” on their report card for 6th card marking and semester 2. Go get those A’s!
  • Teachers will list new assignments for the upcoming week every Monday by 11:00 am.
  • Students need to participate in Google Hangouts with teachers each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday according to the Weekly Check-In Schedule listed in the chart below. Please schedule your personal lives around this schedule.
  • Assignments for the week are due by 12am (midnight) on Sunday. 
  • There will be no end of semester finals.
  • Seniors last day will still be May 21st for classwork.
  • Teachers will be using their existing platforms for communication as before.
  • Chromebook distribution – we will notify you via robocall when we will pass out Chromebooks.
  • Please communicate with your teachers or counselors if you’re unable to check-in or complete any work.
  • The expectation is that students should be completing 30 minutes of work per subject per day. 
  • If you need support, please reach out to one of the administrators. Our priority is on the safety and health of all staff and students. We must continue to support each other, our students and parents socially and emotionally at this time. Many of our families are dealing with significant financial issues.
  • Message from Mrs. Alcodray:  

Weekly Check-In Schedule

Day of the WeekClass PeriodTimeMode of Delivery
Monday—-11:00 -2:00Office Hours (email, Remind, phone call)
Tuesday1st2nd1:00 – 1:402:00 – 2:40Google Hangout 
Wednesday3rd4th1:00 – 1:402:00 – 2:40Google Hangout
Thursday5th6th1:00 – 1:402:00 – 2:40Google Hangout
Friday—-11:00 – 2:00Office Hours (email, Remind, phone call)
Weekly class check-in schedule
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Dearborn Public Schools contact information:

It is important for everyone to know that the Dearborn Public Schools is open for business and ready to serve the public.  The following numbers and emails are available to contact the District: 

  • General information:  313-827-3006 or
  • Social emotional hotline – 313-827-8500 or
  • Tech support – 313-827-8400
  • Human Resources & Student Services – 313-827-3068
  • Special Education – 313-827-7050

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COVID-19 Mental Health Reminders:

Groom and Get Dressed Daily Even if its just into comfy sweats, you’ll feel more “normal” and productive! A little self-care is often calming and relaxing.

Maintain a Regular Meal Schedule Try to eat a variety of healthy foods, including a lot of fruit and vegetables. A health body supports a healthy mind!

Stay Connected Even though we can’t go out and visit family and friends, make sure you stay connected. Video chats or even just a phone call helps to feel less isolated.

Unplug Take a break from all the Corona Talk in your conversations and on the internet. It is stressful and can be overwhelming to be thinking of it 24-7.

Get Outside Every Day The fresh air and open space will make you feel less stuck in the house. Go for a walk (maintaining social distancing please!), bike ride or just sit out on the porch as the weather warms up.

REACH OUT Mental Health is always important but it is especially important during times like these. Reach out to someone you trust, like a social worker or teacher or our district support line. Social-emotional support hotline – 313-827-8500 or Also remember to check-in with your friends and family. We are all in this together!!

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Food Distribution-

ACCESS will be distributing supper for students M-F at the Arab American Museum for 3:00pm-5:00pm.

Breakfast and Lunch (new days) 10:00am-12:00pm, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

During Spring break the days will be Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

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Food Distribution

ACCESS will be distributing supper for students MONDAY -FRIDAY at the Arab American Museum from 3:00pm-5:00pm.

Breakfast and Lunch (new days) 10:00am-12:00pm, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

-During Spring break the days will be Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday

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The Dearborn Public Schools is offering an Emotional Support Hotline

The Dearborn Public Schools is offering an emotional support hotline in order to provide support to students/families who are experiencing anxiety, fear and stress in this time of crisis.

Families contacting the hotline by phone or email will receive follow-up contact by a school psychologist, counselor, or social worker.

Families can contact the hotline at: 313-827-8500

or by email at:

***Please Call 911 in the event of an emergency

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Dearborn Public Library currently allowing remote registration for Library Cards

The Dearborn Public Library has set up a way for residents of Dearborn/Dearborn Heights to remotely register for temporary Dearborn Public Library cards.  These cards will allow access to all Dearborn Public Library electronic materials.  Instructions and highlights of available eResources is available through the following link:

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What does a School Psychologist do?

The primary responsibility of the School Psychologist is to evaluate students for special education eligibility and to provide service and support to parents, staff and students.

The secondary responsibility is to support at-risk students by providing consultation with students, school staff and parents through the Tier II and Tier III pyramid of interventions.

Your school psychologist is here to provide support to ANY students struggling to learn!

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