This fall, School Principal, Dr. Anthony Hadzimichalis brought the entire staff together – classroom teachers, clinical staff, aides, specialists and administrators – to review the new competencies, and ensure that measurable social and emotional learning objectives are front and center in the curriculum.
“We want staff to develop cross curricular problem-based learning (PBL) units grounded in what our students experience every day,” said Dr. Hadzimichalis.
“Many of our students are socially ‘clumsy,’ and they may inadvertently ‘trip and stumble’ over school rules and social norms every day,” said Hadzimichalis. “Whether it is because they lack knowledge about the social rules, lack the self-management skills or misinterpret social situations – it is our job as educators to teach them a new set of skills, and a new way of being and seeing.”
Through innovative, hands-on experiential in-service programs, Westbridge staff learn how to teach SEL skills by intentionally creating “teachable moments’ through interdisciplinary projects, presentations, games and physical education.
Staff met in cross-curricular groups to design lesson plans around problem-based learning, and to create a rubric as an assessment tool.