SEL Approach at Newton Public Schools

  • To succeed and thrive, each and every student needs experiences, interactions, and an environment that foster a sense of significance, belonging, and meaning and enjoyment.

    To that end, NPS’ K-12 SEL approach is based on the following core principles:

    Positive Community: Educators utilize the power of community to support student success so that all students feel safe, connected, and known to adults and peers in school. Adults create and sustain positive, safe, preventive school climate and culture where students feel supported, comfortable taking risks and working with a variety of peers. Adults work collaboratively with the understanding that how we work together is as important as individual competence. Lasting change begins with the adult community. Key components of positive community include:
    • Caring, positive relationships with adults
    • Family Engagement
    • Collaborative, team-based approach
    • Positive sense of belonging and significance
    • Opportunities for peer leadership and mentoring
    • Shared sense of purpose
    • Shared rituals, routines, traditions
    • Sense of safety
    • Joy and fun

    Engaging Academics: Learning activities and processes are active, interactive, and participatory with a focus on inclusion, responsibility, ownership, opportunities to contribute, opportunities for social competence and problem solving. Students see a sense of relevance and take a personal interest in their work. Key components of engaging academics include:
    • Student-centered and focused on the whole-student
    • Strengths-based, recognizing and building on strengths
    • Connected to pathways to future success
    • Social and emotional learning and academic learning are integrated
    • Learning is active and interactive
    • Learning is appropriately challenging with supports and is purposeful
    • Learning connects with student’s interests, strengths, hopes, and goals
    • Learning allows students opportunities for autonomy, control and independence
    • Learning includes opportunities for reflection
    Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions: Learning environments are calm and orderly with clear and consistent standards for behavior. Developing and teaching consistent behavioral expectations promotes autonomy and enables students to focus on learning. Key components of positive behavioral supports and interventions include:
    • Develop and Implement clear, consistent standards for behavior
    • Hold high, positive expectations for all students
    • Teach positive social and emotional skills needed for successful participation.
    • Focus on student outcomes related to social, emotional, and behavioral competence.
    • Respond to misbehavior through use of logical consequences that are relevant, respectful, and realistic
    • Routines and procedures are known to all
    • Celebrating and identifying positive behaviors
    • Implementation of a tiered prevention continuum of social, emotional and behavior support to address needs of students who need additional supports and interventions

    Developmental Awareness: Educators use knowledge of child and adolescent development along with observations of students to create developmentally appropriate learning environments.
    Adapted from the Responsive Classroom Approach