Spring has finally arrived in central Ohio and we can all agree that the fluctuating temperatures have made us a bit more appreciative of the warmer weather.
Like most people, we want to know what to expect in our daily lives from the weather to more significant things such as food, shelter and a sense of security. These are basic human needs and in a perfect world everyone would expect and receive them.
Sadly this does not always happen. When students lack these basic necessities, the results may include a lack of confidence and acting out impulsively in a negative manner.
Academic success is at the core of what we strive to accomplish in South-Western City School District; however, we also know that non-academic barriers can impact a student's educational experiences. As a community, we must address the social and emotional needs of our students.
Emotional intelligence is related to many important outcomes for children and adults. Children with higher emotional intelligence are better able to pay attention, are further engaged in school, have a higher number of positive relationships, and are more empathetic (Raver, Garner & Smith-Donald 2007: Eggum et al. 2011). They also regulate their behaviors better and earn higher grades in school (Rivers et.al. 2012).
Our teachers and administrators recognize the need for social and emotional care for many of our students.
Most recently we have developed additional partnerships to provide valuable assistance in helping our students build social/emotional strength.
* Columbus Springs provides quality treatment programming for mental health and addiction issues for youth and adults in an atmosphere that promotes health and well being. This organization works with families of all income levels. For more details visit their website, columbussprings.com.
* The Signs of Suicide Prevention Program, through a partnership with Nationwide Children's Hospital, provides a universal screening tool for middle grades through high school. This program attempts to recognize signs of depression in youth through self-awareness and encourages students' ability to seek help.
* New for the 2018-19 school year, the district will add two social workers who will become team members to support our students. These individual will help to coordinate the everyday challenges felt by some of our families. The goal is to help support life outside of the school day in order to be more successful in the classroom. These specialists will help families connect with agencies offering a wide range of support resources.
* We will continue our work with the Communities in Schools program that provides 11 site-coordinators in our buildings. These coordinators worked on a tiered system of support that encompasses academic assistance, social skills, behavior intervention, and community service both within and outside of the school day.
We value our existing relationships and our new partners. We are grateful for these programs and the people who can help connect our families-in-need to additional resources. We want to publically commend our outstanding teachers, counselors, support staff and administrators who work every day to improve the lives of our students.
As a district, we recognize the challenges many of our families face and know that if we work together, we can help to create emotionally and academically strong individuals who are good future citizens, living happy and healthy lives.
Please do not hesitate to contact your local school or the district offices if you would like additional information on any these programs or partnerships.
Bradford Faust is the assistant superintendent of curriculum for the South-Western City School District.