Fostering the Social and Emotional Lives of Children
At the core of our social and emotional program is the deep belief that children must develop a strong sense of self and the confidence to make connections with their peers, learn to problem solve together, and be open to different experiences. Our JK through Grade 8 SEL curriculum draws on the RULER framework to help students express their feelings, apply self-regulation strategies, and reflect on the best ways to resolve conflict. We build a positive emotional climate with our charter, we articulate our feelings with the help of the mood meter, we activate our best selves through the meta moment, and resolve conflicts with the blueprint. We believe that emotions matter because they drive learning, decision-making, creativity, relationships, and health (Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, 2020). Throughout the day, but specifically during Homeroom in the Lower School and Advisory in the Upper School, students participate in rich practices that help them become grounded in daily routines, gain self-awareness and become confident in their ability to regulate their emotions, and make informed decisions. As it has been a school-wide focus for several years, our team of teachers, deans, learning specialists, and psychologist intentionally broaden our social-emotional curriculum.
Our partners and the practices that strengthen our SEL curriculum:
- Affinity groups
- Banana Splits
- Friendship Circles
- Growth mindset
- Health and Wellness
- Human Growth & Development
- Racial Literacy
- Responsive Classroom
- Restorative Circles
- Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence
the UPPER SCHOOL advisory program
Walk in the shoes of a middle school student for a moment: new classes, new teachers, new routines and a new level of adolescence on top of it all. Advisory at St. Luke’s integrates Social and Emotional learning, Diversity and Equity studies, and executive functioning skill building into the day of a middle schooler. This program provides students with a base to ask questions as they arise, to face challenges as they come, and to celebrate accomplishments when they achieve them. A tight knit community forms in each group, and students develop strong relationships with their Advisory leaders.
Beginning at the start of the day, Advisory creates a landing pad for a student to get settled with materials, assignments that might need printing, and community. Soon, groups are engaged in activities which focus on targeted social skills, current events, or emotional awareness. With regular check-ins and warm-ups, students identify their own emotional state, and listen to others share. Topics have included empathy building, identity explorations, fairness and equity, as well as knowing what to bring to class or how to advocate for help with adults.
Advisors are contact points for parents to deliver information about changes to a day’s schedule or to alert staff if there is an issue of concern. Likewise, students can ask Advisors how to navigate situations which feel overwhelming or complex. Advisory staff meet regularly to discuss how to tailor activities to recent events or to student generated themes.