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Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
Teaching skills for positive relationships and mental wellness
We think of schools teaching the “three Rs,” but Charlottesville City Schools is also committed to a fourth R — relationships. Our counselors teach social and emotional skills when they visit classrooms, work with small groups or individuals, host clubs, and organize activities. Since 2015, we have also begun adding social-emotional learning (SEL) to our regular classroom curriculum to teach specific behaviors, such as the ability to recognize and regulate emotions. We recognize that social and emotional skills are a key element of mental wellness.
SEL Curriculum and Practices
Beginning in 2017, specific elementary classrooms at Greenbrier Elementary (and in 2018, at Clark Elementary) have piloted special SEAL (Social, emotional, and academic learning) classrooms to innovate and refine an intensive approach to social-emotional practices and curriculum. In addition, our alternative learning center, Lugo-McGinness Academy, is very intentional in supporting the social and emotional growth of its students. The success of these programs has inspired the spread of these practices across our Charlottesville schools.
In 2018-19, we implemented a division-wide SEL curriculum in our pre-K and kindergarten classes, and in 2019-20, we added first grade to this commitment. For the 2020-21 school year, we have taken a huge leap in making social-emotional learning instruction available to all of our students, PK-12.
This curriculum uses both nationally recognized and local resources:
- MindUP and other mindfulness resources
- Second Step
- Zones of Regulation
- The DESSA system for assessing social-emotional competencies (Devereux Student Strengths Assessment)
- Trauma-responsive practices
- Wildrock ecotherapy park and our City Schoolyard Gardens
Many professionals recognize five core competencies in SEL:
- social awareness
- relationship skills
- responsible decision-making
- encouraging physical wellness
- creating systems of supports at our schools to promote positive behavior, academic success, and mental wellness
- establishing trauma-responsive practices
- fostering a positive school culture and community
- empowering our school counselors and Student Services staff such as social workers and psychologists
- promoting safety
An overview of wellness programs in Charlottesville City Schools can be found here.
SEL Resources for Families
Social-emotional learning begins at home! Thanks for partnering with us for the growth and success of your child!
- Free family resources compiled by CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning)
- Free family resources developed by rethink ED
Patrick Farrell, Intervention and Support Supervisor: 245–2666 or FarrelP1@charlottesvilleschools.org
Jodie Murphy, Mental Wellness Facilitator: 245-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org