• Bridgeport Public Schools

    October 8, 2021

    Hello Bridgeport Public Schools, 

    As we approach the six-week mark since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, we are gaining a better understanding of the social emotional impact the pandemic has had on our children. With so many of our students returning to in-person learning for the first time since March of 2020, it is important that we recognize the challenges that these youngsters face as they interact with their peers in a school setting for the first time in well over a year.  

    Some of our students are having an especially challenging time adjusting to the return to school. As a school community, we must work collectively to support our children as they cope with the emotional stress the pandemic has brought upon them. We have seen a sharp increase in inappropriate and overly aggressive and are focusing our efforts on providing support and resources to those students struggling socially and emotionally. I am asking for families to work in partnership with our schools as we support our children. I have included some strategies and resources so you can help your child navigate through their feelings and emotions. 

    Parents can:

    • Connect with other parents who have children in the same school/program who can provide information and make them more comfortable with the school/program. School-based PAC/PTSO leaders are a useful resource for connecting with other parents. Information about the PAC/PTSO at your child's school can be found on your school's website or by calling the Main Office.

    • Talk with teachers about ways they can support their child academically at home.

    • Try to stay calm and reassuring during times when their child may exhibit strong feelings or emotions.

    • Take care of themselves during stressful times so they can be better equipped to take care of others.

    • Speak to school support staff to help find resources to learn how to promote resilience and reduce anxiety.

    • Support your family's social emotional needs using Bridgeport Public Schools' K-8, video-based social emotional learning curriculum from Move This World. This online program helps students and families process and manage emotions; build healthy relationships; and communicate more effectively. Families can visit Social Emotional Learning Solutions for Schools & Families | Move This World for more information.

    • Remember that this is a phase—building new relationships is a skill, and with support, children can be resilient. They will gain a new trusted relationship with their new teacher and feel more secure. 

    Parents with concerns can: 

    • Make sure their child has a daily, predictable routine, with regular times for healthy meals, naps, and night sleep at home. Having a rested body and knowing what to expect at home helps children cope. 
    • Monitor their child’s social media and technology usage. Contact the school if there are things that cause you concern.
    • Talk to a healthcare professional if their child’s symptoms of anxiety or behavior problems are severe or persistent. 
    • Contact a mental healthcare professional for parent training and support so parents can help their child. 
    • For children with new concerns that persist, please contact the Student Success Team at for additional support with the school.  
    • For children with identified disabilities, ask the school to hold a PPT meeting to review their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

    I assure you that as a school community, we work diligently to provide all students with the care and support they need to successfully navigate this incredibly stressful period in their lives. I cannot stress enough the importance of consistent communication between the school and home so we can effectively address the needs of our children.  

    I would like to thank you in advance for cooperation and continued support.  


    Michael J. Testani
    Superintendent of Schools