Staying Connected and Engaged During Times of Distance

This article originally appeared in START Connecting in May 2020. 

One of the most difficult aspects of social distancing is being socially distant. During the school year, we work hard to help students be connected with each other and engaged in their school community. When students are at home, whether it is due to COVID or the break of summer, this becomes more difficult. Families become tasked with taking a larger role in helping to make these social connections with peers as well as maintain focus on school work. Given that families are already busy, we want to provide some resources to help.  

Ideas for connecting and engaging were collected from school staff around the state and put into a Padlet by our colleague Amanda Foster from Montcalm ISD. This Padlet is a dynamic repository of resources that will continue to grow. Think of it like a Pinterest board for connecting and engaging. If you have not encountered Padlet before, it is easy to use and we even have a short video with a tour of the Padlet and a flyer describing it. Please feel free to share the Padlet flyer or link to the Padlet.  

Some of the great ideas you will find in the Padlet include:

  • Pre-made Peer to Peer postcards
  • Scavenger hunts for elementary-age student
  • Games for adolescents
  • Self-regulation kit
  • Self-management systems for home (and school)

If you have ideas to add to the Padlet, please send them to or You can even encourage your students to submit ideas, since ultimately, they are the ones who know what works.  

Stay Connected and Engaged!

Written by: Amy Matthews, Ph.D., BCBA - Project Director

START Connecting Homepage