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SEL Initiatives Grow

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Social-emotional learning is the way a student develops the ability to experience, regulate and express emotions; form close, secure relationships; explore the environment and learn. To ensure student success, the district implements new social-emotional learning initiatives annually to educate the whole child.

The K-12 districtwide Social-Emotional Academic Learning committee is committed to a shared vision of social and emotional development that is critical for student achievement. The first Friday of every month is designated Family Friday. To assist families in connecting at home, a monthly flyer is sent home with a reflection/theme question that all K-12 students can discuss with their families in place of any other homework. These questions help generate conversations with families and help students with their social-emotional growth.

Social-emotional connections also involve giving back to the community, in particular during November and December, when students participate in mitten trees and fundraisers for the Toys for Tots, and Make-A-Wish charities. This year, many schools collected food and toiletries for hurricane victims. During the morning and afternoon announcements in December, two students at South Bay Elementary School share advice on kindness. 

Senior high school students are being recognized with the Eagle Award for demonstrating one of the 13 social-emotional learning competencies. To be recognized, a student is nominated by a faculty member for going above and beyond in one of the competencies, including showcasing integrity, respect, responsibility, compassion, kindness, and teamwork. To date for the 2017-18 school year, 30 students have been nominated for the Eagle Award. 

In addition to the Eagle Award at the senior high school, ninth-grade English teachers are using “Top 20 Teens: Discovering the Best-Kept Thinking, Learning & Communicating Secrets of Successful Teenagers” to facilitate lesson plans on social-emotional learning. 

“We recognize the many outside factors that may impact the learning of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly. “Through our various SEL initiatives, it is our goal to provide students with the appropriate tools to successfully navigate any obstacles that may arise in their lives.”