Today we want to introduce you to one of our staff members who is making a huge difference in our ability to serve our students throughout Comprehensive Distance Learning.
In Resiliency Conversation #5, we talk with Serendipity’s Tier III Behavior Specialist Kim Forbes about her position and exactly what she does on a day to day basis during CDL. You’ll learn how this position has been crucial in increasing our mental health support capacity and most importantly, preventing any of our students from falling through the cracks.
Monica Thompson, a Serendipity parent wrote us just the other day-
“I found so much inspiration and hope for our daughter and our family …. We are in our first year at Serendipity for our 9-year-old daughter. We felt and still feel absolute hope as they have taken her in as one of their own after she had been rejected by programs that just were not able to meet her needs. So appreciative of the support they offer, and we can’t wait for the schools to open up so she can feel, smell and touch all of the awesomeness that is Serendipity!”
We hope this holiday season, although radically different from any we’ve experienced before,
brings you and your loved ones
joy and peace.
As we continue to focus on the priority of enhancing our mental health support capacity, we wanted to share with you more about the challenges of meeting the mental health needs of our students during Comprehensive Distance Learning.
In our fourth Resiliency Conversation, we get the chance to talk with one of Serendipity’s Clinical Case Managers, Ella Olson. We discuss the ways Case Managers and the entire Serendipity staff are responding to students’ increased need for skilled and individualized mental health supports.
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated in the first few weeks of our Holiday Giving Campaign! Your generosity enables us to continue to do the vital work of serving our students in this challenging time.
Today we’d also like to thank our corporate donors OnPoint, Lease Crutcher Lewis, and NW Natural who have partnered with Serendipity to enable us to meet our most critical priority- enhancing our mental health support capacity.
In today’s Resiliency Conversation, you’ll hear from Nicolas and Taylor, the incredible team behind Serendipity’s Growing Minds Garden.
Check out the video below to find out how this passionate team blends the garden seamlessly into virtual learning and takes us behind the scenes of our crucial Family Food Share Program which delivers food to 25 families every week. Nicolas emphasizes how many of the Serendipity staff are part of this unique collaboration that maintains an important wellness connection with the students – physically and emotionally.
As Nicolas mentioned in the video, we’d like to reiterate our thanks to Bob’s Red Mill, Dave’s Killer Bread, and Pacific Foods for their incredible donations that support our Family Food Share Program. Their continued partnership with Serendipity over the past years and amidst this current crisis is invaluable and incredibly appreciated.
We are so excited to share the very first of Serendipity’s ‘Resiliency Conversations’ with you. As this pandemic continues, we know you have many questions about how Serendipity is meeting the challenges of Comprehensive Distance Learning as well as providing mental health support in a virtual format.
Kari Gale, our Communications and Event Manager, will be having a series of conversations with key staff at Serendipity, asking them about how the school is adapting and adjusting to meet the needs of the students in this unprecedented school year.
Serendipity opened its virtual doors for the 2020-2021 school year with a thoughtful, and customized approach for our students. We call it our Resiliency Response Approach. In this first conversation, Kari interviews Kevin Thompson, Serendipity’s Vice-Principal about our Resiliency Response.
We are continuing to adapt our exceptional Four Pillar model of education, mental health, transition readiness, and wellness using virtual participation with an emphasis on literacy and engagement. We have decided to deliver an enhanced program of mental health treatment in response to critical needs now, and when we return to school.
“Responding to students’ increased needs for skilled and individualized mental health supports
is our most critical priority”.
Belinda Marier, Executive Director
WELCOME TO THE 2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR!
Serendipity has just completed its first month of school and our staff and students are doing a remarkable job of adapting to our new virtual reality with creativity and resiliency. We, as always, are committed to supporting our students as we have always done in the past, through our four pillars of education, mental health, transition, and wellness.
As we look into the next few months, however, we know we will face many additional challenges and are evaluating what new supports our students will need throughout this year, and as especially as they transition back into our classrooms when it is safe to do so.
CREATIVE THINKING DURING COVID
Our Garden Manager Nicholas was preparing to compost 50+ pounds of giant zucchini that had overgrown while were on break at the end of the summer, when serendipitously, Taylor, his assistant, had made a loaf of zucchini bread and brought it to share. As they were eating it (in a physically distanced setting) in the garden, she mentioned having made it from one of the giants. Brian, our head chef, immediately signed on to process the rest of them and start making loaves.
We included a loaf in the first Family Food Share of the 2020-2021 school year since it was a way of getting some fresh wholesome food to students and as a reminder of their time at Serendipity (zucchini & pumpkin bread were part of the breakfast menu). In the following weeks, Tyler, Brian’s assistant got in on the project as well and now they plan to continue offering a loaf of zucchini bread in each share for months to come and potentially switch to pumpkin bread when the zucchini runs out. By grating & freezing it in batches, they were able to preserve the harvest and keep a little taste of Serendipity coming to students.
This is a great example of a deepening synergy between the garden and kitchen teams & the delicious result of some creative thinking and rock-solid follow-through that keeps Serendipity staff connected to our kids in tangible ways that go above and beyond education.
We will continue to share our journey with you as we navigate supporting Serendipity students in this challenging year. We are so grateful to have you as part of our community of supporters, and we hope you are well and thriving even as we all face difficult times.
We set a very ambitious goal of $240,000 for our 2019–2020 Four Pillar Fund campaign and we triumphantly came within $4,000 of that goal!
Our community rose to the challenge magnificently to support Serendipity as we navigated a world where school was closed and events to celebrate and support our school were cancelled. Through all of these obstacles you were there for Serendipity and we were overwhelmed by your commitment, kindness, and generosity.
Your donations to the 2019–2020 Four Pillar Fund were essential to serving students during an unexpected and unprecedented period of distance learning. This fund allowed for virtual art therapy, the continued cultivation and harvest of our garden and farm, and the physical and technical preparations necessary for Serendipity to reopen.
The pride exhibited by our four graduating seniors and the joy displayed in the virtual talent show can be directly traced to the individuals and corporations that invested in the care of our students. Even the act of converting learning to another setting and another format, as challenging as this can be, helped shine a light on what it takes to be resilient. Our resiliency has grown through the support of Serendipity’s friends and investors.
We truly cannot thank you enough for your extraordinary generosity.
Belinda Marier, Executive Director