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Harmonizing Hearts & Minds: SEL at SYV Family School

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults learn to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL is particularly important at SYV Family School for a number of reasons.


  1. SEL helps students develop important life skills. Learning how to manage emotions, set goals, and build positive relationships are all skills that are essential for success in school and in life. By teaching these skills at an early age, we can help students develop a strong foundation for future success.

  2. SEL promotes a positive school culture. When students are able to understand and manage their emotions, they are better able to engage in learning and work effectively with their peers. This creates a more positive and supportive school culture that is conducive to learning.

  3. SEL can improve academic performance. Research has shown that students who have strong social and emotional skills are more likely to have better grades, higher test scores, and better attendance. By teaching these skills, we can help students be more successful in school.

  4. SEL can help prevent problem behaviors. Students who have a strong foundation in SEL are less likely to engage in problem behaviors such as bullying, violence, and substance abuse. By teaching these skills, we can help create a safer and more positive school environment.


What does SEL look like at SYV Family School?


At SYV Family School, our approach to Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is grounded in specific components that we believe are instrumental to our students' holistic growth. First, we engage in explicit instruction. Every skill in our SEL curriculum is throughtfully introduced to students, paired with clear definitions, interactive activities, and compelling read alouds. This ensures that students not only understand but also internalize these essential life skills. Secondly, we prioritize a common language that permeates every grade level, resonating among teachers, students, and parents alike. This unified vocabulary streamlines communication and fosters a cohesive learning environment, ensuring everyone is on the same page when discussing and applying SEL concepts. Now, the beauty of this common language truly shines during practical application. Our students get the chance to bring these SEL skills to life, be it during unstructured playtime in the yard or within class activities. Since all grade levels share this language, it's not uncommon to witness a Blue Door student (kindergartener) and a Purple Door student (fourth-grader) having a constructive interaction using an SEL concept they've both learned! Lastly, we deeply value diversity in thought. Our community understands that every individual brings a unique perspective, and these varied viewpoints enrich our collective understanding, driving us towards a more inclusive and empathetic learning environment.


In conclusion, social and emotional learning is an important part of a well-rounded education, and it is particularly important at SYV Family School. By teaching students how to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, and build positive relationships, we can help them develop the skills they need to be successful in school and in life.

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