Social Emotional Learning in the Newton Public Schools
To succeed and thrive, each and every student needs experiences, interactions, and an environment that fosters a sense of significance, belonging, meaning, and engagement.
The social and emotional learning (SEL) approach in the Newton Public Schools supports the district’s mission to achieve a school culture that supports academic achievement, social and emotional competence, and well-being and is responsive to the diversity and needs of our students. Supporting the development of students’ social and emotional competence is one of the foundation blocks of NPS, inextricably tied to academic achievement. Actualizing high student engagement and achievement across all domains of learning requires strong partnerships between schools, caregivers, and community partners. To succeed academically and become empathic, engaged and ethical citizens, students need opportunities to develop and practice social emotional skills, attitudes, and behaviors.
Social emotional learning is the process by which students’ acquire the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors necessary to:
- set and achieve goals,
- recognize and manage emotions,
- take the perspective of another and feel empathy,
- establish and sustain healthy relationships, and
- make responsible decisions.
Social and emotional learning is more than a curriculum or set of free-standing lessons designed to teach skills, such as empathy, cooperation or self control. SEL is the way in which teaching and learning is intertwined with students’ emotions, sense of safety, feelings of belonging and acceptance, and enthusiasm about learning.