FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The SameHere Teacher and SameHere Student apps facilitate and enhance vital mental health conversations in schools by asking students to privately share their feelings with a designated teacher, on a daily basis. The apps offer schools an easy to use social and emotional tool, designed to help students open up and foster communication through the practice of actively requesting and sharing feelings.
Functioning similarly to a messenger platform, the apps utilize the #SameHere Scale – an easy to understand visual that mental health is fluid and lives on a continuum stretching from “thriving” to “sinking” – to give teachers and students the opportunity to connect from anywhere. Developed with school professionals, graphic designers, and world-renowned psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers, the #SameHere Scale establishes a common language to express current feelings and track how they may change over time.
1. Through what device can teachers/school professionals and students access the app?
Teachers and school professionals can utilize their personal device (mobile phone or tablet) to access the app. Individual schools can determine their preferred student access, depending on technology capabilities. Schools may choose for students to download the app to their school-issued device or to their personal devices. Alternatively, if there is only one shared school device provided to a classroom, each student may log-in/log-out to respond.
2. What personal information is collected from the students?
To log-in to the app, students are given a personal identification number, username and password. The only personal information they must enter is their first name and last name, and a nickname if they prefer.
3. What safety measures are in place to protect students?
The privacy of all stakeholders is important to us; all responses and communication that takes place through the apps is protected. Only a teacher or school professional assigned to each student can view that student’s response. No student is able to view any other student’s responses. Further, the apps are COPPA and FERPA compliant.
4. Are the apps only available to schools as a whole, or can one teacher buy and use the app for his/her classroom?
The apps are designed for flexibility and scalability, depending on the need of each user. They can be utilized by a singular classroom, designated grade level(s), an entire school or even a school district.
5. How much is the app and how can I purchase the apps for my school?
Downloading is free, to get your classroom, school or district signed up, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Do you have a template for teachers and educators to follow as they start using the app in the classroom?
Yes. For more information, email email@example.com.
7. As a teacher, I’m interested in utilizing the apps, but already use other methods to communicate with my class. How much time extra time should I expect to devote to this additional tool?
The apps are designed with teachers in mind; intentionally built to maximize efficiency and not add to their already full plates. Teachers can send the scale notification to one, some or all of their students – and review their responses – in a few minutes time. Teachers can decide when and how frequently they would like to send the notification, though once per school day is recommended.
8. If I notice a student has been consistently struggling for an extended period of time, what should I, as the teacher, do?
The apps act simply as a conduit to finding out how a student is feeling, giving teachers more tools to better understand what’s going on with their students, overall. As administrators of the app, teachers are not intended to analyze their students or take on an additional role of counselor or therapist. Teachers can make a referral – to the principal, school psychologist, etc. – as deemed appropriate.
9. Is there an automatic referral form built into the app?
A pre-determined threshold of when a referral should be made is not built into the app, as we feel it is best for each school to decide how and when a referral is made. Our team can help schools build and customize the right model for their needs, which can also be reevaluated over time as more trend data is received. Once the criteria are determined, the app will ping a teacher when the designated pattern arises (for example, five straight days of a “struggling” response).
10. Did you perform a pilot of the apps?
Yes, we completed a pilot through a web-based version of the apps. The pilot reinforced our approach of flexibility and customization based on each school’s specific needs. The apps are purposefully not one-size-fits-all as we understand leniency to fit into each school’s culture is critical for the greatest possibility of success. Teachers sending the scale to their students and students responding with their desired emoji are the only standardized elements of the apps.
Optional/customizable elements are as follows:
- Teachers can share their own placement on the scale to facilitate more open communication
- Teachers can change the general notification (‘how are you feeling today?’) to something more specific, such as ‘how are you feeling related to the topic we’re learning today?’
- Students can share commentary related to their submitted feeling
- Students can “safebox” their commentary if they are not comfortable sharing it publicly with their teacher just yet
- Students and teachers can engage in a secure discussion via the chat feature
- All users can track trends based on responses over time
FERPA, COPPA, HIPPA Compliant