Reflection from Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration
The FXW SET Program Is Back And Reminding Us That Everything’s Going to Be Alright
In a verywell family article written in September 2019 entitled The Concerns About Kids and Screen Time: What research says about the impact on health and development, Katherine Lee writes, “In a pinch, when parents have to get dinner made or take a few minutes to answer emails, it’s (technology’s) also a convenient babysitter.” If Ms. Lee had only checked her crystal ball when doing her research, she would have known that just six months later, technology would not only be a “convenient” baby sitter, it would become a worldwide au pair—both at school and at home due to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For decades, it is safe to say that the average adult in the FXW community has maintained some degree, albeit a range, of rules around screen use and what that should look like for our child(ren)—even before the birth of the World Wide Web which coincidentally was born the same year FXW was founded in 1989. Some of us, like me, who were in college during or before the late 80s/early 90s, recall studying in the library until closing in the wee hours of the morning to cram in research for a term paper or senior thesis because the information was right at our fingertips—on paper or, dare I say it, microfiche (some of us may need to Google that last term).
Regardless of when any of us were born, even if we were a school-aged child during the Polio outbreak (see above picture), teachers and parents figured things out, and that generation is now great grandparents to our current elementary school-aged population. Those current great grandparents went onto become teachers, doctors, nurses, essential workers and so much more, and then they birthed another generation of them who today are the very people helping us through the pandemic we currently face.
The Frances Xavier Warde School’s Social Emotional Development and Technology Program (SET) is a collaboration among the Director of Innovation and the FXW Mental Health team at each campus. During the month of February, the SET Program team hosted virtual conversations on family health, wellness, and technology use, and have been reaffirming that “everything is going to be alright”. The SET Program team is comprised of: Sarah Vaughn, Director of Innovation, Alyssa Brescia, Licensed Social Worker (HNC), Dr. Seth Preminger, Clinical Psychologist (HNC), Dr. Lisa Lombard, Clinical Psychologist (OSP), and Andrew Miller, School Psychologist (OSP).
As the team met with parents by grade bands, week after week over the past month, the message has been to use precaution with technology in age-appropriate ways and also know that the increase in tech use is not going to break our babies–the next generation of parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, essential workers and so much more.
If you missed SET FXW Family February, the SET Program team would like to share resources from their three February Family events:
Preschool through Grade 2 slide deck
Grades 3-5 slide deck
Grades 6-8 slide deck
Suggested family resources
Thank you to all who attended the SET Program events this past month. If you have questions, please contact Sarah Vaughn, Director of Innovation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration