What can we do?
Belonging matters…What can we do?
Belonging allows us to put down roots and blossom while we build a bright future in a strong community.
A Preventative Health Approach for the Pottstown Community
SEL = Necessary Skills for Learning and Life
The Center for Academic Social and Emotional Learning Skills has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective and behavioral competencies.
Self Awareness – knowing your strengths and limitations
Self Management – ability to stay in control and persevere through challenges
Social Awareness – understanding and empathy
Relationship Skills – ability to work in teams and resolve conflicts
Responsible Decision Making – making ethical and safe choices
Research says that students show:
- Increased academic achievement
- Increased social and emotional skills
- Improved attitude toward self and others
- Improved positive social behaviors
- Decreased conduct problems and emotional distress
Numerous research studies have documented that educational efforts to promote social and emotional skills increase students’ capacity to learn; that students are more motivated to learn and more committed to school; students are less likely to act out in class, get suspended or be held back; and are less likely to participate in risky behaviors such as alcohol, drug use, pregnancy and violence.
Pottstown School District’s Social and Emotional Learning Plan
Explicit Instruction – Pottstown School District and PEAK will adopt an aligned social emotional Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum focused on teaching essential SEL skills. By using the same curriculum at all grade levels, a common language will reinforce SEL skills as they are expanded each year.
Climate and Culture – Building on the current positive activities in our schools, we will focus on a positive climate and the incorporation of new strategies to create a sense of belonging and acceptance.
Integration – SEL will be integrated into all subject areas throughout the entire day. Effective implementation of school wide SEL means that the skills are reinforced in the cafeteria, on the playground, during art or gym class and in any interaction with staff.
Family and Community – The SEL work will extend from the school buildings to the community as we support families as they incorporate SEL skills into parenting and interactions in the community.
A Preventative Health Approach
Focusing on helping young children develop SEL skills provides:
- a strengths-based, developmental approach for addressing the high rates of mental health challenges children and families face, and
- a researched method designed to build resilience and equip children to handle present and future challenges in a healthy way.
The SEL competencies build the skills and supports required to move children toward optimal mental health. For children exposed to trauma or toxic stress, SEL skills act as protective factors to help improve internal regulation, healthy peer relationships and ultimately healthy development. A child who learns to cope with difficult situations when they are young will be equipped to respond to adversity in healthy ways later in life. As one researcher has stated, “Strong SEL skills contribute to good mental health for all children.”
“We need to ensure SEL is a core aspect of every child’s education. By doing so, we can support teachers in their critical work that helps children thrive, not just as students, but also as leaders, dreamers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.” CASEL
Join us as we transform our community. For more information on Pottstown’s SEL program, contact us at 610-970-6655 or visit www.peakonline.org.
Social & Emotional Learning in our Schools