Alleviating the Stress with a Social Emotional Lens: Preparing for the Fall 2021 Academic Year

As part of a whole child model of teaching, learning and caring, ALL4SC - Accelerating Learning & Leadership for South Carolina – sees implementing evidence-based social emotional strategies as an integral component in support of all students, teachers, families and communities. In partnership with United Way of the Midlands and National University, ALL4SC promotes using common evidence-based practices - such as Harmony SEL curriculum and Inspire professional development offerings - throughout the school building.
June’s SEL newsletter focuses on the third Everyday Practice of setting Harmony goals. This includes total collaboration from teachers and students as they reach a consensus on what a positive classroom should look like and how to get there. Additionally, this month’s newsletter focuses on a lesson to support student and parent social emotional competence, a debrief of the first superintendents’ webinar, and resources for all.

A Thriving Classroom Climate: Setting Goals for Active Student-Teacher Collaboration

The April and May newsletters included the first two Everyday Practices, Meet Up and Buddy Up. Setting Harmony goals is an interactive and engaging Everyday Practice that mirrors the development of class contracts, which is already frequently used in many classrooms. This goal setting activity serves an important purpose, allowing both teachers and students to work together to set the climate and structure of the classroom. This practice is used to guide each day and encourages everyone to participate. 

Setting Harmony Goals: What are Harmony Goals? 

  • What: Class contract that emphasizes goals for positive classroom climate
  • When: Developed at the beginning of the year and refined by the class as needed
  • How: Whole classroom participation
  • Why: Forming goals to establish respectful and positive interactions 
  • Who: Students and teachers can work together in classroom; parents and children can establish their own contract at home

To read more about the value of setting Harmony goals and how to incorporate this Everyday Practice anywhere, visit the Harmony portal (requires login and includes free access to all resources and materials).

SEL Lesson Snapshot –
Peer Relationships Unit

Activity Suggestions: Using the Home Activities worksheet below (click for a downloadable version), social emotional learning can extend beyond the formal learning environment. Families and children can work together to incorporate any of these suggestions into their daily lives. 

To view the full lesson and supplemental materials, visit the Harmony portal (requires login and includes free access to all resources and materials).

A Superintendents’ Meeting to Spark a
State-Wide Approach to SEL for the Whole Child: What We Learned 

In partnership with United Way Association of South Carolina, ALL4SC hosted the first superintendents’ webinar dedicated to social emotional learning. This meeting gave superintendents and United Way staff across the state a forum to discuss education initiatives related to social emotional learning and the need for comprehensive supports for all children from cradle to career. 

  • Naomi Lett, president and CEO of UWASC, provided statewide public policy updates about education and youth services, specifically noting there were 137 bills filed in 2021 legislative session related to education. She noted the legislature recognizes the challenge with teacher shortages, and legislators are looking at ways that they can help address that through policy. 
  • Dr. Barnett Berry, founding director of ALL4SC, outlined how ALL4SC, as a university-assisted strategy, is partnering with others to transform South Carolina’s schools and communities with an emphasis on whole child education through community school model. 
  • A panel discussion included Dr. J.R. Green, superintendent of Fairfield County Schools; Dr. Gregory McCord, superintendent of Marlboro County Schools; and Sarah Gams, 2021 SC Teacher of the Year.
Click here to view the webinar archive.

 Resource Hub

 Thoughts or Questions?

Are there other SEL topics or resources you want to learn more about? Click here to let us know or email Alyssa Raygoza, ALL4SC SEL Graduate Assistant. 

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