Dear Parents,
 
One of the skill sets (the six C’s) that frames our mission of Opening the Eyes and Awakening the Mind is Character, which we define as "the ability to demonstrate traits and social/emotional intelligence skills, among which are Empathy, Resilience, Self-Control, Curiosity, Agency, and Open-Mindedness." Much like the other essential skills that guide our work (Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Cultural Competence), Character skills can and should be taught and learned.   
 
As a result, one of our on-going areas of institutional growth at Buckley has been to help our students develop the necessary intrapersonal and interpersonal skills that fall under the umbrella often referred to as social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL has been defined as “the process through which people learn to recognize and manage emotions, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and 
avoid negative behaviors.” (Maurice Elias)
 
This year, for instance, Mr. Hall and the Upper School faculty have worked on the implementation of a new advisory program, Community Matters. Tomorrow, Monday, our faculty will take another deep dive into current research and best practices in the field of Social and Emotional Learning with Elizabeth McLeod.
 
Elizabeth McLeod, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning (IFSEL), will spend the entire day with us, meeting with the lower school faculty during the day and leading a faculty workshop in the evening. 
 
Elizabeth McLeod graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in Human Development and English.  She holds single and multiple subject teaching credentials from San Francisco State University.  She earned her M. Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused on adolescent development and the role of healthy risk taking for emerging adolescent girls. 
 
The workshop, entitled Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): The What, Why and How of Nourishing Student SEL for Academic Success, Wellbeing and Community, will outline a framework for understanding the social and emotional development of EC-8th grade students and the crucial role SEL skills play in academic success and learning. Elizabeth McLeod will share creative ways that schools can strengthen emotional intelligence and develop and hone independent and cooperative problem-solving skills.
 
Elizabeth McLeod will also share an overview of compelling research that highlights the importance of SEL to support student development, academic success, sense of belonging, community, health, and wellbeing.
 
As always, I thank you for the support you provide to on-going professional development at Buckley. It is key to the experience of all of our students. 
 
Best,
 
Dr. Juhel

Buckley Country Day School

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