New "Handle with Care" Tool Added to Care and Connection Resources

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together
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Dear School and District Leaders,

We’re excited to announce that we’re adding a fantastic new tool for school leaders and staff to the Care and Connection Resources webpage.

The Handle with Care tool was made popular by two, innovative 4th grade teachers in Festus, Missouri. This year, before the first day of school, the teachers sent a note to parents titled “Handle with Care.”

The note reads: “If your family is experiencing difficulties at home, I would like to provide additional support at school…If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning or weekend please text me ‘Handle with Care.’ Nothing else will be said or asked. This will let me know that your child may need extra time, patience or help during the day.”

A parent posted the letter on Facebook, and it has been shared more than 200,000 times. We’ve also heard from teachers in Oregon that they are excited to send this note to families this fall, so we are happy to add it to the Care and Connection webpage. In the coming days you will see the Handle with Care tool, and a related social media template in several different languages that you can share with families. 

We’re thrilled to bring this resource to you. Please reach out to tell us the ways that you and your school and district are beginning the year with Care and Connection, and to let us know how we can continue to support you.

With appreciation for all that you do,

B Grace Bullock, Ph.D. 
Senior Mental Health Strategist
Oregon Department of Education