After several years of using a homegrown social emotional learning (SEL) approach, our district decided it was time for a more official curriculum that would support our middle and high school students’ mental health, academic achievement, and overall well-being.
With about 840 students in grades 8-12, we’d already developed a homeroom/advisory period meant to create community among students. Our goal was to develop a “belongingness” within our students and staff.
As we built that out, we started creating our own lessons using some of the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) curriculum. We assembled an advisory team of teachers who helped aggregate resources about mindfulness, kindness, and other core topics.
The initiative went well for about two years, but it just wasn’t sustainable for us to keep creating something every year for students in grades 8-12.
4 steps to a successful switch
We were introduced to 7 Mindsets by one of our district’s former middle school counselors and, after our counseling team checked out the SEL platform, we convinced our central office that our high school needed it.