Social | Emotional Health
A child’s social and emotional health is really about safety. Does the child feel safe enough—physically and emotionally—to take risks, make mistakes, ask questions, try new things? Do the adults in the building work together, with students, to create a school culture and climate that feels safe, feels calm, feels good? These are the questions that our school leaders and teachers think about as they begin to construct school programming that emphasizes the social and emotional growth of our students.
Our schools are known for being safe places for kids to grow and learn. You can tell the minute you walk in our front doors that our schools have a certain identity, a culture of their own, that promotes community, friendship, trust, risk-taking.
To create this atmosphere we depend heavily on our commitment to PATHS to PAX, Responsive Classrooms, and our Advisory Program, which is aligned with the work of Carol Lieber Miller, a Senior Consultant with Engaging Schools, formerly known as Educators for Social Responsibility. Our values are old fashioned in a way: we believe in being firm but fair with students. At the same time, our expectations for them must be age-appropriate and allow students the opportunities to make decisions about their own future. We've also partnered with Positive Schools Center to incorporate restorative practices, implement logical consequences, and emphasize the importance of equity in all aspects of our work.
We start the day with Morning Meetings and Advisory times where students learn to get organized for their day and participate in a community. This work sets the tone for the rest of the school day—where kids are encouraged to learn about themselves and respect others in meaningful ways.