2020 – 2022 – SEL Pathway

2020 – 2022 – SEL Pathway

Woodward is a community that cares. It is evident by the actions of all Wildcats. We often see students helping each other and advocating for classmates. We will stop each other in the halls to ask, “How are you?” Wildcats are kind and responsible. It is this care and connection that makes Woodward an excellent place to learn, work, and play.

At the beginning of this journey, our school recognized the success of our ROAR program. Our Wildcats ROAR at Woodward:

  • R – respectful
  • O – open-minded
  • A – accountable for actions
  • R – responsible citizens

This is the Wildcat way that we see down our hallways, in our classrooms and on our playground.

There is a plethora of data for our school team to explore to see how we are doing at meeting the social-emotional needs of our learners. Our ongoing scanning provides students and staff the opportunity to share their opinions and ideas directly. The MDI by UBC (middle years developmental index), Student Learning Surveys from the Ministry of Education, and our own school and district surveys provide much information about the social-emotional well-being of our students.

Generally, our students connect well to their peers and adults at Woodward. They feel cared for and know who to trust when issues arise. Our students also find a lot of support at home and around the community. Through our scans, surveys, and conversations our teachers and staff see a need to develop self-monitor, self-identification, and self-management competencies in our students. Our student population reflects the diversity of our larger community. This diversity provides the opportunity to learn but also shows us that there many diverse needs to meet as well. Our goal is to provide the strategies necessary for our students to identify and regulate their social-emotional well-being in a wide variety of settings.

During the 2019-2020 school year, teachers and staff looked for common language around Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and specific tools for students to help regulate or manage their feelings. We started small by combining old SEL language (red light / green light) with new language based in the Zones of Regulation (blue zone, green zone, yellow zone, red zone). We also started to present regulation tools (TheraBands, fidget tools) into classroom practice as well. We also started to incorporate SEL strategies into our daily practices and routines.

Through the implementation of a district pilot project, we were able to create SEL and flexible learning spaces in some of our classrooms. We created calming corners and group workstations to allow students to move to spaces that help them learn best. Alongside, the physical changes, our teachers and staff provided direct teaching to help students develop their self-monitoring and self-management skills.

Interest in our work in flexible learning environments and regulation spaces grew. As a result, our school received a larger grant that helped create two flexible learning and regulation labs. A new and flexible space for students to work and learn is available in each wing. This grant has provided the physical structures for students to manage their social-emotional well-being. As we move forward, our learning and physical spaces are growing and changing together. Like a new piece of art, the changes to our learning environments are eliciting larger conversations about how to build the self-monitoring, self-identification, and self-management skills necessary for success at school and at home.

Our current work is being guided through professional development and close collaboration Wildcats. We want all of our students to leave Woodward with a love of learning, an understanding of who they are as learners, people, and citizens of the world. We also want to provide the skills, understanding, knowledge, and tools necessary for their success to continue throughout their lives. We believe that we will find success with the continued hard work of our students, staff, teachers, and district.