Social and emotional readiness is especially important for success in academics and life for students with learning disabilities.
Throughout the day, students learn skills to help them build self-esteem and the confidence to take the risks inherent in learning new information. Our students are developing social skills and emotional understanding in the classroom, at lunch and recess, during Silent Meeting, and in other less-structured group settings. Increasing self-awareness and confidence allows students to be more focused on learning. When they realize that it is okay to make mistakes, they take more risks and stretch themselves academically. As their social skills develop, students form stronger relationships with peers and teachers.
Social Skills and Emotional Understanding in the Lower School
Starting with our youngest classes, social skills and emotional understanding are explicitly taught and integrated into the curriculum. Students learn how to identify, recognize, and regulate emotions, build communication skills, organize their bodies, develop social awareness, and use language to problem-solve. The RULER program (Recognize, Understand, Label, Express, Regulate), created by Dr. Marc Brackett of Yale University, is at the heart of our social and emotional curriculum. Each classroom works together to create a class charter that identifies five to six actions to support one another to establish a supportive, positive climate in the classroom. The oldest lower school students take part in Healthy Choices, a curriculum designed to provide guidance as they face the particular challenges of pre-adolescence and adolescence.