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Social / Emotional Learning

The Independence School places a high priority on Social / Emotional Learning (SEL).  Research has shown that students who participate in SEL programs demonstrate improved classroom behavior, an increased ability to manage stress and depression, and have better attitudes about themselves, others, and school overall. These impacts are long-lasting and extend well beyond school years.

Independence uses the Second Step curriculum for social and emotional learning, beginning in pre-K (ECII) and continuing through eighth grade. The program is designed to help our youngest learners in Early Childhood harness their energy and potential by teaching them to listen, pay attention, manage their behavior and get along with others. The curriculum in Kindergarten-grade 5 is designed to nurture children’s social-emotional competence and foundational learning skills, promoting their social, emotional and academic success. Web-based content for students in grades 6-8 reinforces SEL and helps them establish skills for life. These skills are put into practice and further developed in Middle School through the Character Development Program and Advisory Groups. The Second Step curriculum presents relatable scenarios for students and is underpinned by the latest research in adolescent brain development and social psychology. Major areas of study by grade level follow below:

ECII - Kindergarten

  • Skills for Learning
  • Empathy
  • Emotion Management
  • Friendship Skills & Problem Solving

Grades 1 - 5

  • Growth Mindset & Goal Settings
  • Emotion Management
  • Empathy & Kindness
  • Problem-Solving

Grades 6 - 8

  • Mindsets & Goals
  • Recognizing Bullying & Harassment
  • Managing Relationships & Social Conflict
  • Thoughts, Emotions, and Decisions

Social and emotional learning is impactful at every grade level. Students acquire the skills they need to interact with others, to identify and manage their emotions, and to problem solve within a social context.

Christy Koense
Head of Lower School