During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Highfields’ campus has been closed to visitors and non-essential staff, but as a 24-hour facility for at-risk boys, some adjustments needed to be made.
Some residential students have been given a chance to go home, however, those who remain on campus have adapted to a “new normal.” At first, dealing with the crisis was difficult. Home visits and family visitation on campus were cancelled to prevent possible outbreak. Staff has been doing their best to help students work through the uncertainties by maintaining a routine and focusing on a positive mindset.
“The students are very resilient and have adjusted well,” said Matthew Rau, Residential Family Counselor.
Virtual classrooms are set up for students to continue their education. Family visits and therapy sessions are held over Zoom meetings which help provide face-to-face contact.
Staff has also been encouraging fun outdoor activities as part of every day life to help deal with anxieties. By participating in activities, students are able work through fear, anger and frustration in a positive way.
“We’ve put emphasis on encouraging students to try new activities they normally don’t do, like playing softball or going fishing,” said Rau.
Highfields is dedicated to keeping students safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic. Through counseling sessions, family Zoom calls, and continued education, Highfields is committed to helping students through the crisis.
“It’s important for students to have a chance to open up about their thoughts and fears and find a healthy way of working through them,” said Chris Jurasek, Interim Residential Director. “It’s important that we focus on the wellbeing of our students.”