Social Emotional Learning

At Singapore American School, we believe that student success is not determined solely by a strong academic foundation but also through the intentional building of skills in the social-emotional realm.
 

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for success at school, work, and in life. However, SEL is more than just an isolated program or lesson. It is an integrated approach to learning. SAS has adopted The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework that identifies five core competencies:

Self-management

Self-awareness

Social-awareness

Relationship Skills

Responsible Decision Making

We believe that when prioritized across settings—schools, classrooms, families,
and the wider community—this powerful learning can educate hearts, inspire minds,
and help students navigate the world more effectively.  

Dean of Student Life

As part of our commitment to the integration of SEL into the everyday learning environment of our students, the elementary school has two Deans of Student Life.

Colleen Steigerwald

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.

Elementary School Counselors

SAS believes that the social and emotional growth of students is just as important as the academic growth. In order to support, guide, and grow students' social emotional skills, one counselor is dedicated to every grade level in the elementary school. 

Dr. Robin Pearson

Caroline Delhommeau

Jeanette Dari

Carin Chow

Deanna Williams

Lindsey Powell

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

In addition to the social and emotional support of grade level counselors and Deans of Student Life, the elementary school has two school psychologists. The National Association of School Psychologists states: School psychologists help students, families, educators, and members of the community understand and resolve both long-term, chronic problems and short-term issues that students may face. They are a highly skilled and ready resource in the effort to ensure that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and in life.

Adrian Elmo

Sarah Pisacano

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.