Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (CASEL 2017).
At Suder, SEL support is delivered in a tiered system. Tier 1 supports are available to ALL students and include school-wide initiatives such as morning meeting, middle school advisory, restorative practices, and social/emotional workshops for families.
Tier 2 services are available to students who need additional support and include short-term, solution-focused small group counseling (i.e., social skills, friendship, grief), trauma-focused small group counseling, anger coping small group counseling, peace circles, check-in/check-out, and supports for students in temporary living situations.
Tier 3 services are available to a small amount of students and include referrals to community agencies, crisis intervention, short-term, solution-focused individual counseling, behavior support plans, and transition planning.
Middle School Advisory
Students in middle school stand at a critical juncture for defining themselves academically, socially, and emotionally. Advisory provides a venue to help students set goals, learn skills of self management and relationship building, reflect on their academic growth, and plan for their lives beyond elementary school. Advisory is a key vehicle for personalizing a student’s education and supporting career and post-secondary aspirations.
Advisory provides a platform for explicit student development in social and emotional skills and the area of career and post-secondary preparation. Social and emotional development is often overlooked as a critical step in addressing academic development. Through advisory, students can develop strategies for managing behavior and relationships which result in a more successful approach to learning and a positive experience in the classroom.
Advisory is also a time when students can map out plans to resolve academic issues that come up in their classes, which builds skills of accountability, personal responsibility, and assertiveness. Over time, students learn to self-advocate and seek solutions with the guidance of their advisor. With a model that allows an advisor to loop with a group of students for their entire middle school career, the continuity of care that is created can have a great impact on the academic growth of a student.