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Foundations for Positive Social, Emotional and Mental Health

December 2, 2017

Over the last few years, Saline Area School counselors and social workers teamed up to develop a list of positive social, emotional, and mental health foundations. This list encompassed many of the critical attributes that students need to possess in order to be “mentally fit.”

This past year, the Saline Area Schools Wellness Committee felt that it was essential to take this list of foundations and further develop and implement them. The group critiqued the list; added a few and removed others. Next, the Committee established a simple list of techniques that can be used by adults (teachers, parents, community members, etc.) to help students build the proper foundations they need to be “mentally fit.” Seen below is the list of foundations along with the suggested strategies for implementation. The “Saline Area Schools Foundations of Positive Social, Emotional, and Mental Health” cards are in use throughout the District.

As a District, all building Principals, social workers, counselors, and teaching staff are putting greater emphasis on supporting these foundations. Healthier, happier, more socially adjusted, and more resilient youth is the goal of this important initiative.

Foundation Card

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelly permalink
    December 4, 2017 11:13 pm

    Please consider the removal of public shaming charts, a.k.a. Behavior Wall Charts in all K-3 buildings in Saline Public Schools. Behavior charts do not assist a teacher with seeking to understand rather than judging. Behavior charts do not help teachers and students collaboratively solve problems. Behavior charts do not create connection or help students make positive choices.

    ” These systems can leave students feeling worthless, overwhelmed and incapable. They can negatively impact the student’s self-confidence, which can result in poor academic performance and even more behavioral issues. These behavior management systems, although well-intentioned, can be downright devastating.” -Katie Hurley, Washington Post

    There are several effective alternatives to help teachers with classroom management, such as collaborative and proactive solutions, responsive classroom and democratic classrooms. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports acknowledges that there is always a reason behind the most difficult behaviors and that students with difficult behaviors should be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Behavior charts do no such thing.

    Challenging behavior is communicating. What are challenging behaviors communicating? That a child is lacking the skills to meet certain expectations. Saline is a forward-thinking school system with excellent teachers. We are capable of teaching the students the skills they need to succeed in the classroom.

    Emphasize citizenship over subordination and self-regulation over compliance.

    Sincerely,

    A Saline Parent

    Here are some links to regarding this issue.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/09/29/the-darkside-of-classroom-behavior-management-charts/?utm_term=.b81d4c1a0742

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/column-hey-teachers-please-stop-using-behavior-charts-heres

    http://www.progressivepreceptors.com/blog/rip-those-behavior-charts-off-of-the-wall-and-burn-them

    https://whyhaventtheydonethatyet.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/collaborative-and-proactive-solutions/

    https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2015/03/23/distracted-by-rewards-moving-beyond-carrots-and.html

    • December 5, 2017 9:24 pm

      Thank you for shining light on such an important issue. A handful of K-3 classrooms in the district still incorporate charts systems (and the like) into their classroom management system. In many cases, those systems evolved from a desire to incorporate a consistent model throughout the school building. The chart as a management tool, in and of itself, does not shape behaviors. It is the outstanding teachers that build classroom community by teaching and re-teaching expected behavior and helping each student understand his/her impact on the learning environment.

      As we have evolved, most classroom charts have gone to the wayside as we develop our knowledge of Social Thinking, more in-depth PBIS strategies, mindfulness, growth mindset, and restorative practices.

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