LunchTime LiveChat During the COVID-19 Crisis: Chat Transcript from April 1 w/Tonya Hernandez, LCSW (Clark County School Social Work Liaison)
When I started the SMHAPP program about 1.5 years ago, I knew that I wanted to work on SBMH services in my school district. I did not know how to go about conducting the research and making sure it was EBP. I found the SMHAPP program and right away it was the answer I was looking for. From the guidance I have received from that program, I was able to quickly and confidently develop this program that can now be used by many SSW to help with the COVID-19 crisis.–Ms. Tonya Hernandez, Clark County School District SSW Liaison
This was the first of our special LunchTime LiveChats During the COVID-19 Crisis, with SMHAPP student and SSW Liaison for Clark County (NV) Tonya Hernandez stepping in as my co-host. We discussed her recent webinar on SSWNetwork, “Providing School Mental Health Supports Online: Loyola SMHAPP Students Taking The Lead,” which as of this writing has been viewed on our SSWN YouTube channel over 4,300 times. We will be having our LunchTime LiveChats over on our SSWNetwork from 11-Noon Monday, Wed., & Friday until the crisis is over. Hope to see you on a future chat!
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 01
Michael Kelly All right, let’s get started. Welcome to our first Lunch Time LiveChats! My name is Prof. Michael Kelly and I co-edit this site and direct the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP) at Loyola. I am happy to welcome one of our SMHAPP students, Ms. Tonya Hernandez as my guest co-host. Welcome Tonya!
Tonya Hernandez Thank you, Professor Kelly. Hello everyone on the SSWN. Thank you for having me here today. My name is Tonya Hernandez. I am an LCSW and have been an SSW in Clark County Nevada for the past 18 years. Over the past 5 years, I have been an SSW Liaison and oversee about 50 SSW and mental health professionals. I was presented by my supervisor to develop a program to help support our schools, students, and families during the COVID-19 crisis. What you see here is the result of that work. I am happy to help you all in any way I can.
I’m excited to share the work of one of our 2nd-year Loyola School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP) students, Ms. Tonya Hernandez, and how she’s helping lead her entire state in this COVID-19 crisis time. Tonya Hernandez, LCSW is the SSW manager for Clark County, the 5th largest district in the country that includes Las Vegas.
Thanks Tonya! Let’s get a sense of our chat room before we begin–say your name, where you practice, and anything you want to make sure that we cover today.
Bryda Drumm. Hi! My name is Bryda. I am a school social worker (LSW, H&SV) in Pennsylvania
Michael Kelly. We’re a nice mighty group so this might take a few minutes, but everybody feel free to get in and say hi…
Tonya Hernandez. Before we get started, I also want to say that I was able to develop this program due to the SMHAPP program and SSWN. Without these two programs, I would have not been able to do what I did so quickly, if at all.
Michelle Halverson My name is Michelle and I am a school social worker in a K-5 elementary school in Minnesota
Mari Walbridge. Mari Walbridge (SSW/LCSW) – East Aurora School District, 4-8. Tonya were you success in getting options other than google slides
Ashley Mohn Ashley Mohn-School Social Worker in a middle school in MN.
Catherine Reierson My name is Kate and I am a school social worker in Wisconsin
Shel B. Hi, I’m Shel. I’m a SSW in NJ
Cassandre Dujour Hello, my name is Cassandre and I am a school social worker from Augusta, Georgia.
Krista Sodt Hi everyone, I’m Krista Sodt, a school social worker outside of Seattle. And I’m in the superstar, Tonya Hernandez’s SMHAPP cohort at Loyola
tara toland Tara Toland School Social Worker Chicago Public Schools
Jessica Linker I am an MSW intern at Darby High School- Hilliard City Schools. Hilliard it a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.
Michael Kelly lol Krista 🙂
Joy Lachendro. Joy- SSW in elementary in WI
J.M. Deering. Jean Deering, SSW, Chicago Public Schools
amy parsons11:04 amAmy, Elementary School Social Worker in Valparaiso IN
Michael Kelly. That’s great–keep any and all intros coming in, you’re all welcome here!
Dot Kontak Dot Kontak, retired SSW, Director of Communications for the New York School Social Workers’ Association
Tonya Hernandez Mari – I am working on looking at other options other than Google so we can provide services. As soon as I have that I will let Prof. Kelly and he will get it out to all of you.
Leanett Lovell Leanett, SSW 5th-12th regular ed in southern Illinois
Michael Kelly A few more housekeeping pieces before we get started: we are a large group, so we’ll try to keep the flow going and respond to everybody, but please be patient as this is our 1st COVID-19 LiveChat.
Mari Walbridge Thank you Tonya! Very much appreciated. You have worked so hard at this and it has been extremely helpful
Michael Kelly. 2nd, we are going to be having these 3x a week starting today, every M, W, & F until the crisis is over.
Tonya Hernandez Mari – SSW ‘s Network – that is what we do. So helping each other is my blood. I’m happy to help out.
Michael Kelly. Ok, back to my guest Tonya–in the initial comment you made Tonya, you were referencing how the SMHAPP program helped you respond to this challenge. Could you talk a bit about that?
Kathleen Bolling. Kathy, SSW Intern in Aurora, IL.
Dave Temkin SSW Chicago Public Schools…Virtual content here has been incredibly useful for now and beyond TY!?
Michael Kelly. This is the work that Tonya will be speaking about https://schoolsocialwork.net/ssw-practice-during-a-pandem…
Tonya Hernandez. When I started the SMHAPP program about 1.5 years ago, I knew that I wanted to work on SBMH services in my school district. I did not know how to go about conducting the research and making sure it was EBP. I found the SMHAPP program and right away it was the answer I was looking for. From the guidance I have received from that program, I was able to quickly and confidently develop this program that can now be used by many SSW to help with the COVID-19 crisis.
Michael Kelly. Awesome to hear this, Tonya. Can you give us an update on what’s happened in CCSD and in the state of NV since you put this plan forward?
Tonya Hernandez. It has helped SSW to be ahead of the curve. The school counselors and other related services are still trying to figure out how to provide services. SSW is able to provide services because they have a good plan that gives them guidelines to provide services to our students, families, and schools.
Michael Kelly. and if you all have follow-up questions on Tonya’s materials, please get those in the chat now as well,thanks.
Mari Walbridge. Prof. Kelly – has anyone in the current cohorts developed anything specific to universal SEL? The SSWs in my district are working on digital universal SEL and then SPED. We don’t want to recreate the wheel or over think things
Tonya Hernandez. This has worked in our student’s favor as SSW is really needed at this time.There was a great webinar yesterday about that very thing.I’m sure Prof. Kelly can quickly add the link to this chat.
Mari Walbridge. Tonya’s plan is amazing but so far ahead of where we are
Michael Kelly. Mari, a lot of people are working on universal SEL, both current and SMHAPP grads. Krista Sodt here is doing that for example: https://schoolsocialwork.net/we-are-around-kids-all-day-i…
Mari Walbridge. Thank you
My name is Krista Sodt and I am a school social worker at a PK-4 elementary school near Seattle. I am in my 3rd year working in this position. I am also in my final year of the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP) certificate at Loyola.
Tonya Hernandez. Mari – that is what is happening in many districts. That is why we are offering to help you with any questions you or your district may have so you can also provide services to students and families.
Dot Kontak. Question: During yesterday’s webinar “Supporting Our Kids From a Distance…” , there was a lot of discussion about how to record sessions as well as the means of students to also be able to record even unknowingly to the SSW. I didn’t think ANY sessions should be recorded? How do you prevent students or parents from recording?
Michael Kelly. those are 2 articles drawing on Krista’s work, and there are a number of other folks who are working on this in the SMHAPP (Sean Delaney is another one, Michael Flood another) both are on theSSWNetwork and you can search for them there and say I referred you.
Tonya Hernandez. This is what is so powerful about the SSWN! Whatever you need to help you to move forward in your schools to help our students is here.
Krista Sodt. ‘m happy to chat further with anyone who is interested in following this thread.
Michael Kelly11:16 amQuick clarification Dot–they weren’t recommending recording actual SSW sessions, just short videos to post to students from the SSW (Tik Tok, other apps) that might give them SEL lessons in an asynchronous way.
Tonya Hernandez. I used the information I found on SSWN as a jumping-off point to develop the COVID-19 proposal.
Lois Word. Hi, My name is Lois. I am a School Social Worker in DeKalb County , Georgia
Krista Sodt. Agree Tonya. Also, I am so inspired by your work and am adapting it for my district. It helps to say, I know the SSW in charge of Clark County schools, and here is what they are doing…
Michael Kelly. yeah Krista I know, right? we know people now 🙂
Tonya Hernandez. Glad I can help Krista. You can email me anytime with questions as well to help support you on this process.?
Krista Sodt. You’ve been generous with both your time and materials. Thank you!
Mari Walbridge. Tonya or Michael any suggests for those of us who are trying to influence our Admin without being a part of their planning process
Michael Kelly. So Tonya, another chat thread has started here around do’s and don’ts on recording and using apps–I know you say a lot about that in your slides, but do you want to add to that?
Tonya Hernandez. Sure can. First it is important that you always use your district’s acceptable use policy when it comes to technology.
AC Decker I’m AC and a SSW in Hingham MA k-5
Michael Kelly. Mari–I would get to any and all of the people “in the room” and make sure 1) they know we as SSW matter because our kids and our role matters and 2) that there are a number of important legal/ethical/best practice issues they need to consider (and Tonya’s webinar and the one we did yesterday are good starting points as well)
Mari Walbridge. It feels like lots of decisions are being made without including SSW. The Superintendent for IL formed a committee for eLearning recommendations that focussed on the importance of SEL but there were no social workers on the committee and only one counselor (from what I could see.) \
Tonya Hernandez. Second many of these apps were already available to students and teachers. It just that now SSW is using them to reach out to students. It is okay to do this, just make sure you follow SSW ethics and boundaries.
Mari Walbridge. Thanks Michael! We are working on that but it’s hard when you know they are scrambling to work on the academic parts as well.
Michael Kelly. Depending on the district you’re in, I would also work closely with key parents to put appropriate pressure where it belongs. Also, when I was in practice, I would just show up for or around meetings like this, to underline that they’re “crisis” meetings too (and that no school crisis meeting should happen without the SSW). Just some ideas.
Tonya Hernandez. Third – doing something to support our families is better than doing nothing. Using these apps can help us to reach students in a way we have not needed to do if they were at our physical school buildings. Think about them as expanding the school building resources to provide students with services. It’s okay to think outside the box to help support our students.
Michael Kelly. These points you’re making Tonya are really important–most of the apps that we’re now learning about as SSW have been in use by lots of teachers and youth for a while now.
Tonya Hernandez. Fourth – most importantly – maintain appropriate boundaries with your students. These APPS are great if we just use them ethically and within the scope of our practice.
Michael Kelly. What other questions do you have as a group for Tonya?
Tonya Hernandez. I have seen a lot on social media from other SSW who are frustrated too that SSW are not being included in the conversations regarding how to provide services. I think we need to advocate for ourselves. If you send your district leaders solutions to the problems they are facing and explain how you can support them. They should be open to your proposal.
Tonya Hernandez. A little history on my District: We had only 20 SSW in the ENTIRE state of NV just 4 years ago
Michael Kelly. 100% Tonya. They WILL NOT invite us, we have to show up, whether it’s literally show up or send them key info that helps them and saves their bacon.
Tonya Hernandez. We couldn’t even use the term mental health to describe what we do
Dot Kontak. Is it too late to invite yourself to the table? SSWs and SISP should be part of district committees.
Now they not only listen to what an SSW had to say, but they endorsed it. Remember to start where your client is. Think of your District as a client in crisis right now.Krista – yes I have received push back on my planBut I have research and EBP on my side so I can push back too. LOL–Tonya Hernandez
Krista Sodt. Did you get any pushback on you plan, or have you needed to change anything after getting feedback?
Michael Kelly. I agree Dot, we have to just demand to be there and use our moxie and community organizing skills to make sure it happens.
Tonya Hernandez. Now they not only listen to what an SSW had to say, but they endorsed it. Remember to start where your client is. Think of your District as a client in crisis right now.Krista – yes I have received push back on my planBut I have research and EBP on my side so I can push back too. LOL
Tonya Hernandez. I have received a ton of push back as a matter of fact. Don’t let that discourage you.
Michael Kelly. So important Tonya, districts “as clients in crisis.”and knowing how our clients often act in a crisis–impulsive, reactive, scared. We can help our district “clients” if we use those clinical chops we have in this new way.
Shel B. Here’s something I’ve been thinking about…. I’ve set up a Google voice # to use with students during this time. Once things are back to normal, how do I let students know that calling me outside if regular school hours is no longer an option without making them feel abandoned, which is an issue for many of my students?
Tonya Hernandez You got this, you know what to do in a crisis and your district needs your leadership now more than ever.
Krista Sodt Just wondering where I might expect resistance so I can build in some responses
Tonya Hernandez. Great question Shel – you do this by setting up boundaries with your students.
Krista Sodt. I think that Google voice numbers can be set up to have ‘hours’ where they accept calls. If you set it the same as your school hours, that could potentially make that a non-issue…?
Tonya Hernandez. Let hem know what is and is not okay
Tonya Hernandez. That is correct too Krista they can be set for hours.
Michael Kelly great question Shel B–how do we set helpful outreach and connections in place now, but make boundaries that can stay strong now and when we’re all back at school.
Shel B. Oh, I didn’t know they can be set for hours. Thanks!
AC Decker. There have been a lot of concerns around doing any group work with students with disabilities due to confidentiality. I know Tonya adreessed that in the webinar but are others getting that concern as well. Also hearing on the special education too.
Michael Kelly. I know that Tonya’s on as our key expert today, but have others set boundaries successfully yet and are willing to share how they’ve done it?
Tonya Hernandez. Most people and students just need to know how you will help them know. Let them know clearly that you are providing this service to them during the school closure and after we go back to schools you services will be provided at school during the school day just like before. When a student or family violates that boundary just remind them that things are back to normal now and you are working at the school during school hours to help them.
Tonya Hernandez. The issue with confidentiality in groups makes me kind of laugh. They all would have known about each other in the group regardless if the group is conducted in person or online. Set the expectation of confidentiality. Tell them what is said online in our Zoom meeting stays online in our Zoom meeting.
Tonya Hernandez. Letting students know this is still as confidential as we can make it, can help to normalize this and help the students cope.
Michael Kelly. I agree that the group one can be made analogous to a regular kid group meeting. Tonya, something that came up a lot in yesterday’s webinar was what to do if a district isn’t really endorsing the SSW in providing direct services at this point but SSW still want to stay connected?
Mari Walbridge. What about the issues raised about Zoom conferences being hacked or student recording and posting
Dot Kontak. Good question, Mike.
Ashley Mohn. Our school attorney isn’t letting us use Zoom due to some of the recent issues. We have the paid version of Google (G Suite), so we are using Google Hangouts instead.
Tonya Hernandez. Mari – I heard about that too on the news. This is why your district needs to contact Zoom and Google Meets to have them make it HIPAA compliant. Once they do that you should be good.
Cassandre Dujour. Our district provides us with cell phones— so we set up hours during our normal work hours for students and parents to call if needed— I review the boundaries up front and often with students and parents and that seems to work well for maintaining boundaries.
Tonya Hernandez. Perfect Ashely
AC Decker. Thanks! helpful feedback
Tonya Hernandez. So, what I’m hearing is a fear of the unknown.
Tonya Hernandez. a lot of what if’s….This is normal guyswe havn’t done this before and itis scary
J.M. Deering. new normal
Tonya Hernandez. Yes this is our new normal right now
Michael Kelly. Ashley, I am hearing some of that, but there are really 2 separate issues we need to block out: 1) making sure the apps are HIPAA compliant (Zoom should provide a way for the teacher/SSW to make sure the students can’t record the session on Zoom) and 2) building norms around the youth knowing that they can’t/shouldn’t do other kinds of recordings (their phone/screen shots) and that doing that is a virtual violation of the same confidentiality we try to maintain in our in-person groups.
Tonya Hernandez. Make sure you follow your ethical guidelines that we all know so well
Tonya Hernandez. Well said Prof Kelly
Michael Kelly. Tonya, are you hearing of districts that are just saying “no direct contact/telehealth”and if you are, what would you recommend those SSW do at this point?
Tonya Hernandez. We cannot control what others do. But we can be professional and make sure we explain the expectations to our students and families.I am hearing that from other Districts Prof KellyI would advise everyone to follow what their district is asking them to do right nowand explain to them what can be done and how to do it using Zoom or Google MeetsThey don’t know how to make it secure but you can let them know
Tonya Hernandez. They just need the correct information so they can make an informed decision.This is where we as SSW shine!
Shel B Tonya, I’m glad you said this is new to us and scary. I feel like others in our districts don’t recognize that
Michael Kelly. I agree Tonya, and what Marjorie was showing in their webinar yesterday was a way to create some meaningful SEL lessons and recordings to share with your students https://schoolsocialwork.net/supporting-our-kids-from-a-d…
Lois Word. What are you all doing when students are not completing their classroom assignments? I just received another request to consult with family, whose mom I spoke with last week.
Michael Kelly. Great question Lois–how are others handling this in our new normal?
Tonya Hernandez. Lois – that is something that will be starting in my district soon as SSW were just told this morning that we need to support teachers to get students to do their work at home.
Tonya Hernandez. We have to do what we always do when given such a high responsiabliltythe best we can to see if we can helpThere is no easy answer to that question and it is one we are all facing.
Leanett Lovell. What if I can’t use Google Voice through my work gmail to contact families?
Krista Sodt. I made a google email account that was new, just to use with voice
Tonya Hernandez. You can set it up using your private Gmail account.
Krista Sodt. That way if it’s discoverable in due process, there wont’ be anything in there
Michael Kelly. This is such an important point–so much of our initial prep work has been about making our usual services adapt, but we are going to likely need to make our work more focused on new realities within our schools i.e. students not completing their online work.
Leanett Lovell. If I use my private account is there a liability issue?
Kate Reierson Good idea Krista
AC Decker. I have used free conference pro to set up conference calls so the teacher, SW and parent can all be on the call together – it’s free!!
Tonya Hernandez. I agree with you Prof Kelly. This is our next research topic and webinar. LOL
Shel B. Krista, I wish I had thought of that.
Tonya Hernandez11:44 amGood idea AC. You can also do this with Zoom or Google Meeets
Tonya Hernandez. Any other questions or concerns I can help you with?
Ashley Mohn. In regard to work completion, our staff is filling out a Google Form with concerns after student doesn’t engage with the material within one week. Our attendance team and behavioral specialists will then reach out to families to see what the barriers are to access and engage with the material.
Krista Sodt. I have no idea if anything linked to a google voice account could be discoverable, I just wanted to set up an additional boundary
Michael Kelly. We do have a bunch of people here, any other questions for me or Tonya?Ashley, I love that as a structure. Keep us posted on how it goes.
Cassandre Dujour. That’s a great idea Ashley!
Tonya Hernandez. Laenett – I have not seen anything in my research show any liability issue. Families and students do not know what Gmail account you used to set up your Google Voice.
Kate Reierson. You can make sure in your Voice settings that no messages are going to your email inbox.
Tonya Hernandez11:47 amAshley – that sounds like a great plan. I’m going to use this idea with my SSW.
Lois Word Thank you for your ideas and suggestions,
Leanett Lovell Thanks, Tonya! Google Classroom-I can all of my caseload in one classroom but no one can see what others post or comment or do I need to make individual classrooms?
Michael Kelly A few more questions I have, this time for the whole group:
Tonya Hernandez Leanett – great question.
Michael Kelly. We’re going to be doing these 3x a week, and I will be looking to make them as relevant as possible to what you’re dealing with.
Tonya Hernandez. When using Google Classroom students can see what other students post if you turn that setting on under settings. You can have students email you directly from Google Classroom and then they cannot see what others have written.
Michael Kelly. Do you have specific topics you’re seeing that you want us to hit on?List ’em all here, and also if you or someone you know of might be good to co-host with me, let me know that as well.
Tonya Hernandez. I’m willing to come back Prof. Kelly and support in any way I can.
Leanett Lovell. Great information! Thanks, Tonya!
Michael Kelly awesome Tonya, we’ll definitely do that. Other topics you’re wanting help with everybody?
Kate Reierson I’d be interested to know how SSWs are using Google Forms to do individual check-ins and what the ethical parameters might be.
Tonya Hernandez. If you asked a question and we didn’t answer it, it was because the thread was going really fast. Feel free to ask it again. We still have time.
Dot Kontak. Jim Raines will be presenting on Ethics in an Epidemic on Friday. He would be good to have next week or sometime for questions and answers after that.
Shel B. Will a transcript of this chat be available?
Michael Kelly. Definitely, I’ll see if Jim can join us sometime soon. Shel, yes I will post the transcript on SSWNetwork right away.
Tonya Hernandez. Great question Kate on the google forms. I have wondered this as well. I’m working on developing a Google Form CICO with students. I’m still working out some issues with it.Yes, Dot, I am looking forward to that Webinar.
Joy Lachendro. Is yesterday’s webinar up for view? (Editor’s note: it’s here https://schoolsocialwork.net/supporting-our-kids-from-a-distance-tools-strategies-to-provide-sel-sped-services-sswnetwork-webinar/. )
Shel B. On what platform it’s the ethics webinar?
Ashley Mohn. Kate & Tonya, I too am interested in this. I developed one that I use currently and set up as many privacy restrictions as possible. I feel like I am missing something and could get into trouble somehow.
Michael Kelly. Also before we go–we are also planning to do a series of Zoom Webinar Panels with SMHAPP students and SSWNetwork members that are targeted at what people are doing at specific grade levels: Early Childhood, Elementary, MS, High School, Alt. EdStay tuned for when those are up and scheduled so you can RSVP for them–we should have the schedule set by this weekend.
J.M. Deering. thank you for this platform. i feel less ‘isolated’ when i’m reading/listening.
Michael Kelly. the webinar we did yesterday is up now on SSWN and on our YouTube channel too. https://schoolsocialwork.net/supporting-our-kids-from-a-distance-tools-strategies-to-provide-sel-sped-services-sswnetwork-webinar/
Shel B. Thank you
Dot Kontak Thank you.
Ashley Mohn11:55 amThank you!
Tonya Hernandez You are welcome J.M. That is why we are here for all of you. You are not alone. We are all in this together. When SSW put our minds together, there is nothing we cannot problem-solve to provide supports that our communities need at this time.
Lois Word Thank you.
Michael Kelly So I think we’re done for today–on behalf of this SSWNetwork/SSWAA LiveChat, I want to thank all of you for being here and most of all Tonya for all her expertise. Take care everybody
Tonya Hernandez Take care everyone. Stay safe and healthy.Thank you for letting me be a part of this with all of you
The Loyola SMHAPP Certificate is a 99% online, 2-year, 15-credit program that offers all school-employed clinicians the chance to join a dynamic professional learning community and to take their practice to the next level. Click here for more info and contact Dr. Kelly, SMHAPP Director at [email protected] if you have questions. Applications for our 5th Fall Cohort are due on or before August 1st, 2020.