Changing School Culture With A Focus On Students’ SEL
July 21, 2021
In 2018, we, Stef and Ashley, started in our new roles as principal and assistant principal at a high needs K-8 school. We were deeply concerned after looking at the school’s data from the fall of 2017 in which 29% of middle school students reported thinking about killing themselves. This was an increase from 6% in 2011. One of the first things we needed to address as new leaders to the school was the social emotional need of our students. Three years later, we have formed creative partnerships with community providers, reduced behavior referrals, and worked hard to help students feel more connected to their school and community. As part of a school district that spent the 2020-2021 school year with in-person learning, we were able to use the systems we had already put into place as a foundation to make a tough year highly successful. COVID protocols allowed us to make some additional changes to support students’ social and emotional needs, which we hope to continue with in the future.
Ashley Winnen, Ed.D.
Presenter, Assistant Principal