Dixie School District
Social Emotional Learning
Social Emotional Learning (SEL): What is it and why is it important?
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) helps students develop a range of skills needed for school and life. Students are more successful in school and daily life when they know and can manage themselves, understand the perspectives of others and relate effectively with them, and make sound choices about personal and social decisions. SEL improves academic achievement and increases pro-social behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011). Effective SEL programming involves coordinated classroom, school-wide, family, and community practices that help students develop five key skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making. The Dixie School District works to provide a continuum of SEL learning from elementary through the middle grades.
School Based Counseling
New Perspectives provides the following services to the Dixie School District:
• Student services – individual and group counseling for students
• Family services – parent consultation, crisis management and family therapy
• School/community services – in-service training, classroom education, teacher consultation, participation in school planning and events, and outreach activities directed towards parents.
The goal of New Perspectives is to promote the social emotional development of young people on an individual or group basis. Working closely with families, counselors and counseling interns establish goals for students. By providing weekly sessions, students make progress towards these goals giving them greater emotional capacity to access academic learning in the classroom. Over the last several years, the agency has used case managers to increase services to students and their families and to develop school-based services with other community resources. Families who need long term support will be referred to an outside agency.
Miller Creek Middle School
The Miller Creek Counseling Program provides preventative and proactive services with the goal of creating and maintaining a positive school environment for all students. Our counselors begin the year by presenting to all students in classrooms and requiring students to complete an online SEL Screening Inventory. The counselors gather data from the screening tool to determine the targeted students and form counseling groups, individual relationships and classroom lessons based on the feedback. In addition to the screening tool, teachers, parents or administrators may refer a student for counseling services, or a student may self-refer. Our counseling team participates in our school-wide lunch club program by sponsoring three clubs: Lunch Crew, Beyond Differences and our Gay-Straight Alliance (G.S.A), these clubs create safe places for students. Our counseling program also coordinates our school wide iWEek, Unity Day, No One Eats Alone, facilitates various processes related to our RTI, and provides academic counseling. This program benefits all students by addressing student’s social emotional, behavioral and academic achievement needs.
Counseling Lessons: Throughout the year all students receive social/emotional grade level specific lessons. In 6th grade, topics might include; how to help a friend, how to be an Upstander, rumors and communication, gender and harassment, and stress management. In 7th grade, the counseling curriculum builds upon the 6th grade lessons and additionally, introduces how to identify and address bias-bullying. In 8th grade, the counseling curriculum builds upon the 6th and 7th grade lessons and also includes conversations about identity-bullying, goal setting, and high school planning.
District Life Skill Program
The DSD Life Skill program provides a set of skills that are at the core of SEL and leverages the use of common language for the entire community. A Life Skill is highlighted every month. Life Skills are taught in two-year cycles and are consistent at all of the Dixie School District Schools. Life Skills are updated to ensure relevancy.
Monthly assemblies led by student council with support from Ms. Dye and Ms. Shaw. Students present the life skill of the month with a reading or skit.
Mary E. Silveira Elementary
Life Skills are shared at each monthly assembly, shared weekly through Monday morning announcements, and shared with our community in our teacher and principal weekly letters, websites and communications. Our school’s philosophy is guided by them. We hold approximately 2 Life Skill assemblies a month. While the content of these gatherings vary, the focus is always upon children, building a community/family of learners, recognizing students for their achievements, highlighting outstanding practices, deeds, and programs, and always in a positive, inclusive, and interactive way.
The teaching of Life Skills at Vallecito includes:
● Monthly assemblies with skits performed by our student council members
● Lessons in the classroom and in PE classes that reinforce the Life Skill concept
● Golden Eagle Tickets as recognition/reinforcement for expected behaviors