• News from the District  

    Dear Readers,

    In education, it is common for buzz words, acronyms, and “edujargon” to be tossed around as though each person we encounter knows exactly what we are talking about.  RTI, CTE, AP, graphic organizers, DIBELS, IEP, 504, IDEA, DLCS, differentiated instruction, wait time, DRA, are just a few examples and the list could easily go on and on.  One term that is being discussed far and wide in our current educational era is Social and Emotional Learning or SEL.  It is Pillar in our district Strategic Plan, it is something we attempt to embed in our curriculum across content areas and grade levels in our day to day instruction, and it influences literally every decision we make for students on a daily basis, but what is it?

    If you asked every educator in our district to define Social and Emotional Learning, you would probably get a slightly different answer from every single person because social and emotional learning can be interpreted in different ways.  SEL is often associated with the CASEL wheel (see below). CASEL stands for the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (www.casel.org) and they have been around for several decades and are considered to be at the forefront of Social and Emotional Learning.  According to CASEL, Social and Emotional Learning is defined as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.  SEL is a deeply ingrained part of the way students and adults interact both in the classroom and out of it, and helps provide children with equitable, supportive, and welcoming learning environments. 

    Cassel Wheel

    So how does SEL impact us on a daily basis in our schools?  We have made an adjustment to how we teach and we understand that we need to accommodate student learning styles, comfort levels, and meet students where they are more than ever before. We have also seen that students are in need of more direct and explicit instruction in skills such as perspective-taking, relationship building, managing emotions, showing empathy to others, goal setting, and decision making-which takes a considerable amount of time.  It is a balancing act to continue to provide rigorous instruction that addresses the required curriculum content while also prioritizing the individual SEL needs of our students. This is where it is essential for us to embed the essential SEL skills into our daily curriculum in order to maximize precious time and for us to continue to research and implement best practices in Social and Emotional Learning.  SEL doesn’t just happen on its own- SEL happens due to the creative and focused work of our school staff on a daily basis. 

     

    Sincerely,

    Danielle Klingaman, Ed.D
    Assistant Superintendent of Schools
    Twitter @duxschools

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    This page provides information relative to all aspects of curriculum and instruction in the Duxbury Public Schools.  Curriculum includes our local curriculum maps as well as references to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.  Instruction outlines our current projects and initiatives as well as plans for meeting the needs of all students.  Our assessment work is extensive and includes both MCAS results as well as local measures.  The district's planning occurs at many levels all of which connect through the strategic, technology, and school improvement plans.  Duxbury's focus on professional development is continuous.  This page will highlight our recent and future efforts.