Steilacoom Historical School District Families,
We recognize the importance of enhancing students’ social-emotional skill development as we work to promote and foster safe, supportive and inclusive learning environments. Social and emotional development comprises the specific skills and competencies that people need in order to set goals, regulate emotions and behaviors, build relationships and process information.
Our team has taken a comprehensive approach to promoting social and emotional development because we understand that it is not just about the skills that individuals possess, it is also about the features of the educational setting we provide, including culture and climate. Students need to know that adults care for them and genuinely believe in their potential. From the first day our students step on campus, we want them to feel valued, welcomed and immediately recognize the unique connectedness of our school community. Our district excels because of the deep commitment of skilled staff and the unwavering support from our families and community.
The SCIENCE OF SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING is Steilacoom Historical School District’s focus this year. Understanding the science behind why and how the brain is affected by stress, emotions, or trauma helps us develop ways to support students’ mental health and well-being, which impacts both readiness to learn and long-term life outcomes. Research in human development, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, and educational policy and practice has shown how social and emotional development is central to learning. Researchers have found that as children experience social and emotional learning, the plasticity of the brain builds new neural networks which enable them to manage their emotional responses and engage their frontal cortex in rational decision-making.
This summer, our school district became the first district to be certified by Neural Education, the Institute for Connecting Neuroscience with Teaching and Learning. Over 70 of our district staff members have been trained to translate neuroscience research into accessible classroom practices. We are excited to provide families with a calendar designed to share this powerful neuroscience research through activities for families to enjoy together. Social-emotional and cognitive development are interdependent and understanding how the brain works, what stimulates it and how to harness the connections in a positive way enables teachers, parents, and students to flourish. Thank you for partnering with our team to create the best education for every student!Sincerely,Kathi Weight, EdD, Superintendent