Charlottesville City Schools and its work to support the whole student is featured as an exemplary approach to supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic development in a report released this week by a prestigious national commission.
The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development published “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope” which argues that our nation is at a turning point, understanding that social, emotional, and cognitive development underpins children’s academic learning. This breakthrough understanding about how people learn is fueling a growing movement to educate children as whole people, with social and emotional as well as academic needs, the report says.
Charlottesville City Schools’ community-driven strategic plan with a focus on social and emotional wellness was specifically cited in the report. In addition, they note that Charlottesville Schools have begun explicitly teaching social-emotional skills and implementing related evidenced-based practices. Also highlighted was the school division’s partnership with area agencies, such as our Community Services Board, Region 10, to provide school staff training in the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training program (ASIST).
“I am pleased that our school system — and our community — recognize that learning is not just about academics, but about the whole child,” noted Patrick Farrell, Intervention and Support Coordinator. “And just as we have learned from other school divisions, I’m glad that our work in this area is a resource for others.”
Charlottesville’s tiered systems of support for academic, behavior, and mental wellness have previously received state attention and recognition in a separate report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. These school-wide supports complement the division’s efforts to teach social and emotional skills, to implement trauma-responsive practices in our schools, and to promote both wellness and positive school culture.
More information about the Aspen Commissions’s report is available at NationatHope.org.