Focus on SEL
Mental health skills and social engagement, longstanding priorities at Friends, had renewed emphasis in 2022-23. It is widely understood that stressors on students are greater now than 25 years ago. At the same time, a growing body of research shows the critical connection between mental wellness and academic success. When children are stressed, struggling to manage emotions, or coping with trauma, they don’t reach their potential. There is solid science behind this finding. We also know that self awareness of emotional patterns and a grounded sense of identity are the foundations of healthy social and emotional well being.
In the 2022-2023 school year, Friends partnered with the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning (IFSEL) to create programming around self care, happiness, compassion and resilience. IFSEL will lead a whole-community approach to equity-rooted SEL for adults and students. The divisional SEL curriculum will offer opportunities for teachers to tailor teaching to meet student needs. Parents and caregivers also have the opportunity to participate in programming that will empower them to support student development.