Pillar Two: Articulating Our Social-Emotional Expertise

Pillar Two centers around the development of a social-emotional program which we launched in fall 2016 to ensure the crucial balance between academic success and social-emotional acuity. Our uniquely-designed program covers three domains – emotional intelligence, cultural competence, and health and wellness – and is targeted toward students, faculty, and parents.

The three domains of our program include:

Emotional Intelligence:

  • Identify, regulate, and understand emotions and how they affect relationships
  • Manage feelings and resolve problems
  • Develop empathy and take responsibility

Cultural Competence:

  • Learn how identity shapes the way we see ourselves and the world
  • Learn both the visible and invisible aspects of identity
  • See how stereotypes, bias, and discrimination limit and harm people

Health and Wellness:

  • Understand how the physical, emotional, and psychological being changes from childhood to adulthood
  • Develop age-appropriate knowledge of anatomy, puberty, social dynamics, and responsible decision-making

The three audiences of our program include:

We launched the student side of the program this year with our seventh grade, introducing a seminar that meets regularly during the trimester on the overall topic of cultural competence. In life skills, students are tackling health and wellness subjects from drug and alcohol awareness to CPR training. On the subject of emotional intelligence, they are reflecting upon their own learning styles and introversion/extroversion, among other issues, and learning strategies to respond. With the addition of a new director of social-emotional learning in July 2017, we will continue to build this program and expand its reach to other grades.

This year, we began providing professional development to our faculty and staff in all three domains. These trainings help increase knowledge and provide a common language for social-emotional topics, allowing us to lead productive conversations with students at appropriate times.

A longside this work, we are conducting extensive parent education. Dr. Scully kicked off our PALS speaker series on the topic in October 2016, and we hosted other speakers throughout the year on the topics of developing executive functioning skills and having comfortable and age-appropriate conversations about sexuality. Langley also hosted a screening of the film, “Screenagers,” which reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world. Our parent speaker series will continue to be a key avenue for involving parents in our social-emotional work.

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Pillar 3