South Orangetown Central School District

We all need help sometimes. But, too often, stigma prevents people from getting the help they need, according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

To make it easier for our students to get help, South Orangetown Middle School Health Education teacher Vickie Shaw and Library Media Specialist Kimberlee Landgraff first developed the annual, districtwide Help Card campaign in 2014. Help Cards and how-to videos are customized for each building and list contact information for school support staff and for community resources which are available 24/7.

“Goal number one of the New York State Social-Emotional Learning Benchmarks is to develop students’ self-awareness and self-management skills. This means teaching them the language to communicate what they’re feeling, as well as strategies to manage those feelings, including seeking support from friends and trusted adults. The Help Card is a self-advocacy tool that helps students identify staff they can turn to for help at school,” said Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services Karen Tesik, Ed.D.

Schools are distributing Help Cards and screening videos in classes on Monday, October 18. Families are encouraged to view their child’s school video together and to reinforce that it is OK to ask for help and that there is always someone who will listen.

William O. Schaefer Elementary School video:

Cottage Lane Elementary School video:

South Orangetown Middle School video:

Tappan Zee High School video:

Video links are also posted under the “Student Resources” section of the For Students page on each school website.

NEW: Students, staff and families can now easily access resources 24/7 on our District’s new Mental Health webpage, which is linked under Quick Links on the District and school homepages.

Help Card - 2021-22