Responsible Decision Making
and the wider community—this powerful learning can educate hearts, inspire minds,
and help students navigate the world more effectively.
Dr. Sarah Farris
The Dean’s work alongside teachers, instructional assistants, counselors, principals, and parents is to provide opportunities for children to practice their SEL skills in context. As a team of educators, we are focused on how to best create deep connections between these skills, our academic areas and of course our SAS core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness and compassion.
With the help of responsible and caring discipline, our approach conveys a belief that all schools can become physically and emotionally safer. Aligning this belief with the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and discipline offers proactive and reactive strategies for developing positive behavior and successful management of the classroom. The focus on positive discipline allows our students to feel safe, know the expectations, and understand the purpose behind our SAS school rules and core values.
Dr. Robin Pearson
The school counseling program at SAS is based on the International School Counseling Association Model (ISCA) and the Collaborative for Social Emotional Learning (CASEL) competencies. It includes a variety of services for all students and is designed to assist with interests and issues related to the stages of student growth in the areas of academic, personal, emotional, and social development.
Some of the services counselors (pre-kindergarten to fifth grade) offer students are: making friends, solving problems with friends, self confidence, transitions and adjustments, and managing feelings (stress, worry, anger, etc.). Grade level counselors work with students one-to-one, as well as run short-term small group “counseling clubs” based on the needs of students. Some of the services counselors offer parents are: exploring ways to help your child feel successful, referrals for community support (developmental pediatricians, therapists, psychologists, family counselling), understanding the developmental changes of childhood, and provide information to help understand your child’s individual and unique strengths and areas of growth. The counseling department offers parent workshops on a variety of topics.
Grade level counselors teach lessons in the classroom throughout the school year. These lessons provide targeted and explicit teaching of CASEL standards. These lessons are based on our SAS core values (respect, responsibility, fairness, honesty, and compassion), the ISCA model, and CASEL core competencies. Curriculum that supports the counseling lessons (Second Step, Friendology, Kelso’s Choice) is research based and aligns with the CASEL core competencies.
Elementary school psychologists consult with teachers, families, school counselors, and administrators to develop and improve student support systems. Our school psychologists also conduct psychological and academic assessments, facilitate intervention planning, monitor and interpret student data, and assist with crisis preparedness, response, and recovery. Both elementary school psychologists hold NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychologist) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certifications. In addition to these credentials, our school psychologists are trained in the Responsive Classroom approach.
Our SAS core values, school rules, approach to discipline, emphasis on the social and emotional well-being, and the explicit instruction of CASEL core competencies for each and every student underpins everything we do in the elementary school. We believe where these intersect we successfully educate hearts, inspire minds, and help students navigate the world more effectively.