At our January community meeting, we heard from two important members of our school community: Franklin’s social worker Maria Loy and Randall’s social worker Katie Larsen-Klodd. Maria and Katie discussed Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and led a community building circle.
We started off with some fun ice breakers that got everyone out of their seat. Then we heard from Franklin principal Emily Powers about the latest at Franklin. She spoke about a successful food drive and fundraiser for Second Harvest, the Fabulous Falcon awards, a staff appreciation hot cocoa bar, and how excited everyone is to be starting the gymnastics unit. She also shared the latest “Nest News” video made by kindergarten teacher Becca and literacy coach Rachel.
Randall principal John Wallace shared the latest at Randall including the 3rd grade music concert and the 5th grade spelling bee, and he shared the latest episode of The Randall Way, where two fourth graders, Brayden and Fanta, discussed January’s focus on kind behavior and reminded everyone that kindness is contagious!
Katie and Maria began their presentation by defining Social Emotional Learning (SEL):
The process where children and adults acquire and apply the skills necessary to build and maintain authentic relationships. Centered on student identities and youth voice, social emotional learning engages learners in strengthening their academic and social emotional skill development to cultivate their innate abilities to: understand and process their own emotions, set goals, feel and show empathy for others and critically examine root causes of inequity, to promote racial and social justice.
Then they gave us an overview of what this looks like at Franklin and Randall:
- Morning Meetings and Closing Circles
- Inclusive books and lessons
- Proactive Restorative Justice practices
- Restorative Justice and healthy conflict resolution
- Child Protection Unit (CPU) lessons
- Zones of Regulation
- Bounce Back
- Black Girl Magic Groups
- Friendship Groups
- Safety Patrol
- Welcoming Schools
- SEL classroom lessons
After a brief discussion, they led the group in a community building circle so we could experience SEL in person. It was very effective – in the last round of the circle the group shared what they would take away from this experience and many said connection and gratitude. Thank you to Katie and Maria for presenting and for the positive, community building experience!