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EY-12 Social and Emotional Learning

Philosophy Statement

Through Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), ISB students will develop greater understanding of themselves, enhance their ability to care for themselves by developing resilience and making healthy choices, demonstrate empathy towards others, build healthy relationships, and act with purpose, finding their place in our global community.  

We know that Social and Emotional Learning begins in the home, that parents are their child’s first SEL teacher. Here at ISB, we emphasize care as one of the core values that every teacher commits to for every student, every day. We reflect on our practices through Tripod’s 7Cs framework of effective teaching, which helps us build a shared understanding of how to show care through our daily interactions with students: “Teachers develop supportive, personalized relationships with students, cultivate an emotionally safe environment, and respond consistently to students’ social, emotional, and academic learning needs.”  

Social and emotional skills and concepts are also taught through our morning meeting in Elementary School and through our mentoring program in the Middle and High Schools. Our SEL curriculum is built around the following five competencies:

  1. Self-Awareness 
  2. Self-Management 
  3. Social-Cultural Competence 
  4. Nurturing Relationships 
  5. Purposeful Action 

These SEL concepts and skills are not a detour from our academic learning; instead, they provide the on-ramps to learning.  Our mentoring and morning meeting times are crucial parts of being a mission-driven school. These concepts are also integrated in every classroom when and where appropriate. For instance, a math teacher might include lessons on growth mindset, and an English Language Arts teacher might unpack the healthy and unhealthy relationships in a book the class is reading together. This focus on SEL complements and enriches our academic curriculum. 

As an EY-12 Social and Emotional Learning program, we value:
  • Well-being for students, teachers, and all community members 
  • Emotional safety and joyful learning 
  • Balance, resilience, and emotional agility 
  • Trust, healthy relationships, and a sense of belonging 
  • Empathy and listening 
  • Student voice and agency 
  • Partnerships between home and school 
  • Multiple cultural perspectives on social emotional concepts 
  • Purposeful fun and experiential pedagogy 
  • Service  
We believe students learn best when:
  • They are treated with dignity and respect 
  • They have a voice in the learning and feel heard 
  • They feel safe and know that they can trust their teachers 
  • They feel a sense of belonging 
  • Their multiple identities (cultural, racial, gender identity, etc) are valued and respected 
  • They have freedom to explore 
  • The content is engaging, authentic, and relevant to their lives 

ISB’s focus on Social and Emotional Learning is rooted in extensive educational research. A common misconception is that schools that focus on SEL are less focused on academic achievement. However, our philosophy is informed by a meta-analysis of more than three decades of research which demonstrates that a focus on SEL can enhance both positive behavior and academic achievement. For more information about how students benefit from a strong SEL focus, see here and here

Every student, every teacher, every day.

First page of the PDF file: SELFramework
SEL Emotional Framework

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