Strengthening Student Skills for Classroom Connection

We are inspired this month by a team of 6 educators, counselors, and school psychologists who are collaborating with Sound Discipline to create social emotional learning lessons for small groups. This project is funded by a Renton Early Learning Support Grant through the Center for Community Education Results (CCER).

SEL Zoom Team
Stacy Lappin, Director of Program at Sound Discipline, Jody McVittie, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Sound Discipline, Khristian Palmer, 2nd Grade Teacher, Sartori Elementary School, Julietta Skoog, School Psychologist, Kayla Root, Kindergarten Teacher, Sartori Elementary School, Rebekah Appleton, Counselor, Highlands Elementary School, Meg Herlofsky, School Psychologist, Lakeridge and Campbell Hill Elementary Schools, Stephanie Pender, 5th Grade Teacher Highlands Elementary School.

To gain a true sense of belonging in their classrooms, many students need extra support and practice with social emotional skills. School staff often request support for these students, knowing that they benefit from small group instruction with peers from different classes often led by a counselor, SEL coach or behavior interventionist. One of the reasons that small groups are not held regularly, and support for students is not as available as it could be, is that the counselors who lead this type of learning don’t readily have lesson plans available for small group work. The lesson plans and kits being developed by this project team will solve that challenge and can easily be used online or in-person.

The CCER grant made it possible to bring together this passionate group of educators who are committed to helping students become their best selves. Starting in the summer and through the fall, they have created a set of 32 lessons focused on helping students build their skills in self-regulation, relationships, communication, and problem solving. The lessons and materials will be piloted first in 5 Renton Innovation Zone (RIZ) schools and will be culturally responsive to meet the needs of all students in our diverse schools.

These new lesson plans will ultimately be used in all Sound Discipline partner schools, where students regularly participate in social emotional learning lessons and class meetings. Having these lessons for small groups, compatible with what is already being taught, will enhance students’ ability to participate in their classroom community successfully.

We are grateful to the members of this team for their creative contributions, commitment, and deep thinking about what will really be helpful to support young people and their families in our community.