Recently we were once again awoken by an extremely disturbing and scary event. When things the recent shooting in Florida happen on school campuses or even in our communities, I can’t sleep at night because of the job I hold. A job I cherish with all of my heart but one that can be extremely scary and difficult unless ALL parents work together with all school employees to ensure that that our most precious, our children are safe. This begins by all of us remembering that if we want OUR kids to be safe then we must ALL follow the school guidelines. It can’t be that message of, “it’s just me” or “you know me” but rather we as adults must ensure the safety of our kids by being not good but exceptional roles models. We must reinforce the school policies and procedures without a blink of the eye. I do believe, together the parents and employees of Juan Cabrillo can develop many more wonderful strategies, implement new plans and/or add new structures or technology that will enhance our safety.
But what will keep kids safe as we work towards those will be for ALL to work together by keeping our eyes wide open and supporting each other in following the basic procedures. Therefore, I ask that you join with Juan Cabrillo in implementing something similar to “Neighborhood Watch” but instead call it “School Watch” and together let us all ensure that each person follows the basic school policies and procedures.
Therefore, if for example, you see someone parking in the wrong place, give him/her a friendly reminder. If you see someone without a Visitor’s Badge or Staff ID, remind and show the person to the office to sign-in. If you see a Gate left open, close it and notify the office staff. These are just a few ways that through “School Watch” TOGETHER we can ensure that student Safety is Everyone’s Business and Everyone’s Priority. Through “School Watch” we are ALL working together for a common goal. Let us put our energy in a positive place-in a positive direction-TOGETHER!
Hand-in-Hand, Together We Can!
Filling Buckets and Developing the Future Together!
On a Teaching and Learning Note
I have been sharing that the staff at Cabrillo has been working hard this school year to look at how to teach the whole child. Recognizing that it is no longer about just ABCs and 123s we have been doing a lot of Professional Development so that we can better motivate, engage and include all kids. Along with Student Engagement, we have been learning how to ensure that we address the social emotional needs of our students because the end result is like having a Pot of Gold at the end of a rainbow. That pot of gold is-academic growth: being able to collaborate, cooperate, communicate, create and think critically which the skills are needed for future success. Most importantly being able to engage with others as social engineers.
As we continue our search for the best curriculum, instructional strategies and learning environment, it is important to remember that unless we reach out to the whole child we are not going to educate for the 21st Century nor are we going to have a safe and compassionate learning environment.
Social-Emotional Learning takes Center Stage
By Tom Chorneau
(Calif.) Social and emotional learning, once considered the touchy-feely side of school curriculum, becomes fully integrated into the education spectrum in California with formal release of state-sanctioned guidelines.
Good teaching has always been interwoven with the ability of adults to respond to the emotional conditions of students and an understanding of their social needs.
With a growing body of research showing that social and emotional learning is a critical part of student success, the California Department of Education announced late last week the new guidelines that are intended to help students learn a range of skills.
“Educators know, and the science confirms that learning is not only cognitive, but also social and emotional,” said state schools Chief Tom Torlakson, in a statement.
“These principles are a part of a concentrated effort to improve teaching and learning of social and emotional skills by recognizing that students’ connection to what they are learning is a critical component of a quality education,” he said.
Faced with growing pressure to improve student performance, schools have traditionally focused most of the attention on academic skills. But as emphasis has shifted in recent years to the development of the “whole child,” social and emotional learning has become more prominent.
A 2011 study led by researchers from the University of Loyola, Chicago, found that when evidence-based social and emotional learning is programmed properly, academics and the well-being of students both improve.
A follow-up report in 2015, found that social and emotional learning programs can lead to better life outcomes, saving social spending as much as $11 for every one dollar invested.
The new guidelines from the CDE are aimed at helping students develop their abilities to:
Set and achieve positive goals;
Feel and show empathy for others;
Establish and maintain positive relationships;
Make responsible decisions; and
Understand and manage emotions.
The fundamental principles are:
Schools must take a systems approach to promoting student academic, social, and emotional learning, physical well-being, and college, career, and civic life readiness.
All students must have opportunities to build SEL skills and receive an assets-based educational experience that is personalized, culturally relevant and responsive, and intentionally addresses racism and implicit bias.
Build the capacity of both students and adults through an intentional focus on relationship-centered learning environments and by offering research-based learning experiences that cultivate core social and emotional competencies.
Maximize the resources of the entire school community, including expanded learning opportunities, early learning and care programs, and family and community partnerships, to advance SEL and student well-being.