Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at Old Mill School
Old Mill staff support, integrate, and model the Old Mill Learner Profile, in order to develop ourselves as global citizens, a district-wide initiative. Our Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) program is based on striving to embody the Learner Profile. It is the umbrella for the other SEL practices at Old Mill School.
A few years ago, our school PTA supported bringing in trained Mindfulness Teachers to visit each classroom and teach teachers and students various "mindfulness" strategies. Now, our teachers are confident in using these strategiesd and methods on their own. Plus, our school counselors who have also been trained in mindfulness techniques, provide support. Classroom teachers have committed to integrating mindfulness strategies into their daily schedule to support our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program. Students might take a "mindful moment" before or after a recess break, or during library. Their teacher might lead them in a "body scan", listen to the ring of a bell, close their eyes and listen to their breathing, or experience other creative activities to help them stay centered, focus, and self-regulate. These are life long skills.
Our school is also beginning to implement the Toolbox curriculum this year with guidance from our school counselors. Toolbox provides students with "tools" to help when they are upset, frustrated, or trying to solve a conflict. Our counselors present in every classroom about each of the 12 tools as well as during a PE class at the start of the school year. Teachers learn the strategies along with the students. We are looking forward to Toolbox becoming more ingrained in our school culture in the next year.
Old Mill School has student "SOS Managers", who help other students resolve conflicts on the school yard. 4th and 5th grade student volunteers participate in training and learn how to help other solve conflicts using the Toolbox tools and other strategies. These students are an important part of our school community. They are out at every recess to help students who need support during a conflict.
This year, we are exploring Restorative Justice practices. Our school counselors and district professional development experiences are helping us to see alternative methods for handling behavior issues and conflict, so students can see how their actions impact others, and also understand that they can repair mistakes through positive action.