Social Emotional Learning
Social Emotional Learning at Cedar Park
Cedar Park is unified in creating a positive, proactive, and safe learning environment (both physically and socially-emotionally) for all our students, staff and families.
Too often, students are held to account for rules and procedures they do not understand, have not experienced, and have not practiced. Assumptions are often made that because a student is a certain age or grade level they should “know how to do…” school. Just as we would expect our school to teach reading, writing, and math, it is also our responsibility to teach consistent behavioral expectations and social-emotional learning at school.
We use two systemic tools to support this:
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
PBIS is a system of creating agreed upon expectations that are common school-wide for spaces such as hallways, the lunchroom, bathroom, and playground. We then teach into and practice these expectations explicitly, so each student develops a clear understanding of what the expectation does and doesn’t look like, feel like, and sound like. This teaching happens not only on the first day of school but in classroom meetings and throughout the year, when returning from vacations and holidays, during interactions with students throughout the day, and when there is a specific issue to address.
As a school, we then focus on positively reinforcing students when they are meeting expectations and providing additional supports and natural consequences when they struggle to meet expectations. These supports and natural consequences can include classroom supports (such as preferential seating or other modifications), re-teaching the expectation during non-academic time, doing a “Walk & Think” on the track at recess (to deescalate and problem solve behaviors while still getting physical activity), having a parent conference, and developing a Student Behavior Support Plan.
RULER Approach to Social Emotional Learning
Our second system is a social-emotional learning program, RULER. RULER focuses on teaching Social Emotional Regulation of self and responding to others.
With RULER we learn to…
- Recognize emotions in ourselves and others
- Understand the causes and consequences of emotions
- Label emotions accurately
- Express emotions appropriately
- Regulate emotions effectively
Four Key Pillars of RULER:
- Mood Meter
- Class Charter
- Meta Moments
- Emotional Intelligence Blue Print
We’d like to share some of the tools we are using at school this year with you, so that you will understand the specific language your child will use and can join us in encouraging students to maintain these expectations any time they are here at school.
The more students practice the expectation in the setting in which they will use it, the more successful they will be.