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Promoting Social-Emotional Awareness at Mickey Mantle School

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on January 15, 2014

The Staff and Administration of P811M-The Mickey Mantle School has adopted a social-emotional learning (SEL) framework with supports similar to ones used in Alaska, Illinois and Minnesota school districts. P811M places student psychological and physical well-being at the center of all planning and curriculum efforts.

The Mickey Mantle School has worked to establish a common SEL awareness and language around SEL skills, words and feelings. We approached this with the same mindset as our development of school-wide language around behavioral expectations (PBIS). With this, last year we created the SEL Integration Committee.  The mission of this committee is to identify, implement, integrate, assess and sustain social-emotional learning programming to increase student engagement, academic and social-emotional skills and student independence. Since the creation of this committee, we have developed a matrix that has aligned all our SEL initiatives within our PBIS framework, encouraging our staff to view everything we do through an SEL lens.

This year the SEL Integration Committee members, in collaboration with classroom teachers, are rolling out the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a comprehensive system that supports intervention planning, progress monitoring, and outcome evaluation in the social-emotional domain. It has been designed to help schools meet the emerging social-emotional learning standards. In particular, we expect to see continued growth and development in Self-Management: a child’s success in controlling his or her emotions and behaviors, to complete a task or succeed in a new or challenging situation. This competency may be expressed by staying calm when faced with a challenge and Goal-Directed Behavior: A child’s initiation and persistence in completing tasks of varying difficulty. In addition to the established SEL competencies, the DESSA measures Optimistic Thinking:  A child’s attitude of confidence, hopefulness, and positive thinking regarding herself/himself and her/his life situations in the past, present, and future.

We believe that integrating the DESSA into our SEL Matrix will help classroom teachers better understand the SEL needs of their students and allow our counseling staff to create more targeted group and individual IEP counseling goals.

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