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Social-Emotional Learning at Marysville Schools - Equity for Students

      If you were to ask one hundred professionals to define social-emotional learning, then you would likely receive one hundred different definitions. The common themes would likely include 21st century skills, noncognitive skills, soft skills, and character development - and none of these would be wrong. According to Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL), “social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” Simple enough, right? Regardless of how you define social-emotional learning, the question quickly becomes, “Why does it matter?”


      When these competencies are effectively addressed, there are significant improvements to academic achievement and reductions in dropout rates, school and classroom behavioral difficulties, drug use, teen pregnancy, mental health difficulties, and criminal behavior - all serious implications for a school system and community. In order to effectively address the social-emotional needs of the students at Marysville Schools, a four-pronged approach is utilized. These tenets include evidence-based prevention programming (including social inclusion activities, such as clubs), universal screening for risk, evidence-based intervention programs for at-risk students, and community partnerships.


      Our prevention programs are varied and include the implementation of the PAX Good Behavior Game, DBT Skills in Schools, and a myriad of other socially inclusive approaches that revolve around mutual interest clubs, lunch buddies, and co-curricular activities. To identify those students that may need more support, we use a series of diagnostic measures to identify and personalize which supports and social-emotional services a student could benefit from - including programs like The Zones of Regulation or Second Step and, in some instances, referrals to a mental and behavioral health professional.

      

      While things like prevention, screening, intervention and community partnerships are important, at Marysville Schools we simply strive for students to develop a sense of love for school and to enjoy their time while they are within our walls. Whether it is being in a PAX Good Behavior Game classroom, working with their guidance counselor, spending time with a lunch buddy, or participating in the numerous clubs and extracurricular programs in our district. This work has not been easy, but through strong community partnerships and an internal commitment to innovative and creative approaches to supporting our students, we have laid the foundations for student success at Marysville Schools.

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