The social, emotional, and mental health of our community is one of our highest priorities especially as we continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to outside medical experts, our Dean of Students and Guidance Counselor work closely to provide support for each student and family.
At Highlands, we recognize the importance of not only academics but also social and emotional learning in teaching our students. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is “the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions essential to everything we do.” (casel.org)
Our goal is to infuse SEL in everything we do. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a leader in SEL research, has defined five competencies that help outline the framework for cultivating skills and creating equitable learning environments. These core competencies are: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills.
Each week at Highlands, we feature an SEL action that puts one of these competencies into practice. Each skill is stated in three developmentally appropriate statements for each grade band and gives the teachers more guidance for incorporating the competencies.
We believe each student is unique. Our Counselor works with each to student to meet their individual needs. With a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Lindsey Scoggins has served as a mental health professional and student counselor in various schools across the South. In addition to leading classes for grades 4K-8th grade, she also meets with individual students to counsel them on various social and emotional matters.