Social Emotional Learning
Researchers now know that helping children to develop their social-emotional skills improves their mental health, relationships, and learning outcomes. Sunnyvale School District has included a social-emotional learning component in every classroom, in every school in the district. Social-emotional learning curricula generally aim to help children develop competency in five core areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and responsible decision-making. In the simplest terms, its about understanding and respecting yourself and others — and it forms a strong foundation for social, academic, and vocational success. Sunnyvale School District uses materials provided through the California Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Technical Assistance Center, and partners with Project Cornerstone to provide the quality instruction and interventions for our students.
Children’s social-emotional well-being is critical to a positive school climate as well as to individual students’ learning success. We therefore work proactively to employ the highest-quality tools and curriculum available to aid in our students’ social-emotional growth.
Using the evidence-based PBIS curricular framework, we have created a continuum of curricular activities to promote social-emotional growth among our student population. Each school has identified a few key social skills for emphasis that will benefit its entire student population. With all students speaking a common language and developing an understanding of social expectations, our schools are emotionally safe and conducive to higher levels of learning achievement. Upon this strong foundation, we are able to build academically rigorous instruction and high expectations for student success.
PBIS also guides us in assisting students who need a little extra support — more adult intervention, closer monitoring of progress, or even one-to-one support in order to reach their highest levels of social-emotional wellness and contribute constructively to the classroom overall.
The U.S. Department of Education provides resources to help schools and districts like ours to create scalable and sustainable programs like PBIS to promote social-emotional wellness in the classroom and higher levels of learning achievement for students.