The Middle School Advisory and SEL Program builds on the five core SEL competencies. Students learn to recognize and regulate emotions, care about others, develop positive relationships and make ethical and responsible decisions.
All middle school students are part of a small grade-level advisory group, which meets daily. The structure of the advisory program has various components. Students begin their day in advisory groups with a morning “check-in” based on a Responsive Classroom structure. This time allows for relationship building between peers and teachers and supports critical executive functioning skills such as planning, prioritization and organization. Advisory groups meet regularly to experience a specific SEL lesson on a foundational or emerging social-emotional topic. In addition to these scheduled advisory times, there are opportunities each month for Community Meetings and whole school assemblies.
Our advisory curriculum represents research-based practices for social-emotional learning in independent schools today. Our teachers and counselors collaboratively design lessons that are developmentally appropriate to both provide a foundation of applicable skills, and to be responsive to the needs of students as they emerge. We use a variety of resources in this process such as materials from the Nueva Institute for Social-Emotional Learning, Learning for Justice, Common Sense Media, Stanford Program for Gifted Youth and many more.
The core middle school advisory curriculum is comprised of five foundation skill areas: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making. All lessons are differentiated by grade level and follow a developmentally appropriate scope and sequence. Additional topics under each of the foundation skills include:
Self-Awareness: Emotions and Neuroscience, Mindset and Resilience, Personal Typology and Learning Styles, Impact of Self on Others
Self-Management: Emotional Regulation, Stress Management, Mindfulness and Relaxation
Social Awareness: Teambuilding, Empathy and Inclusiveness, Appreciating Differences, Giving/Receiving Feedback
Relationship Skills: Effective Communication, Conflict Resolution, Assertiveness and Self-Advocacy
Responsible Decision Making: Goal Setting, Problem-Solving and Leadership Skills