Social Emotional Learning in Lake Bluff

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), "social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions."  In Lake Bluff, there are several programs that support the social and emotional learning of students.

Lake Bluff School District 65 believes in educating the whole child and has a variety of programs to assist students in developing social-emotional skills related to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, healthy relationships, and positive decision-making.  Social-emotional learning takes place throughout the day—in the classroom, on the playground, and at home. Research has demonstrated that children who learn and use healthy social-emotional skills are more likely to have higher self-esteem, get along well with others, and find success both throughout school and into adulthood.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts

A large majority of District 65 teachers have been trained in Capturing Kids’ Hearts programming.  The primary focus of CKH is to develop healthy relationships and teach effective skills that help students increase self-management, increase positive behaviors, reinforce emotional intelligence, increase classroom rapport, develop empathy, and increase motivation.  Teachers utilize a variety of strategies from CKH to build healthy classroom communities such as greeting students at the door, sharing good things at the start of class, creating and upholding social contracts, and many other influential classroom practices.

Safe & Civil Schools: Foundations

Foundations is a pro-active, positive behavior support system designed by Randy Sprick.  A team of teachers and administrators from both buildings have participated in a three-year training cycle with the Foundations team. The goal of Foundations programming is to implement the following:

  • Guides teams through a continuous improvement process for creating a safe, positive school culture and climate by implementing universal procedures for common areas, consistent behavioral supports, and celebrations for positive behavior
  • A multi-tiered system of proactive, preventative measures for teaching prosocial behaviors and interventions when students struggle to meet expectations
  • Team processes to support and improve student behavior

LBES Social-Emotional Instruction

In every classroom, LBES social workers teach the Second Step curriculum which addresses critical social-emotional learning skills. This is an opportunity for children to learn how to understand and manage their feelings, establish healthy relationships, and solve social problems.  Incorporating photographs of children in everyday situations, along with a variety of engaging activities, Second Step lessons introduce and teach a variety of social-emotional skills. Students are given the chance to practice the skills they’ve learned through role-playing, which is an important part of Second Step lessons.

The Second Step program covers the following social-emotional skills:
  • Emotions identification
  • Identifying respectful behaviors
  • Making and sustaining conversations with peers
  • Being assertive
  • Being a positive friend to others
  • Empathy training
  • Impulse control
  • Problem solving
  • Stress management

LBMS Social-Emotional Instruction

All LBMS students take one trimester of health each year (in lieu of wellness class).  Our health curriculum teaches students to build and make stronger connections with the following topics:

  • Positive self-esteem
  • Empathy for others
  • Stress management and coping skills
  • Signs and symptoms of depression
  • Healthy decision-making
  • Effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Skills to resist peer pressure
  • Social and community responsibilities
  • Self-awareness and self-advocacy
  • Emotional awareness and management
  • How to overcome hardships
  • Healthy friendships and relationships
  • Bullying and being a bystander against bullying

Age Appropriate Sexual Abuse Prevention / Erin's Law

All students in District 65 receive age appropriate sexual abuse prevention training consistent with the requirements of Erin’s Law.  Erin's Law reinforces the importance of empowering children in keeping their bodies safe. Specifically, the programming is designed to accomplish the following:

  • Increase educator and parent awareness of child sexual abuse.
  • Give educators and parents valuable information about the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse.
  • Deliver age-appropriate lessons that empower children in recognizing safe and unsafe touches, understanding private parts are personal, what is a safe and unsafe secret, what they can do if something inappropriate or uncomfortable happens to them or they experience early warning signs, identifying safe adults and reminding children that nothing bad happens when you talk with a trusted adult.  
Erin's Law presentations and trainings are delivered throughout the school year by trained staff in each of our buildings.

Additional Social Emotional Support

At LBES and LBMS, students who need social emotional support are referred to social workers and psychologists by administrators, classroom teachers, specialists, parents/guardians, friends, or self-referrals.  Social workers and psychologists meet with students in individual and/or group sessions that focus on social skills, coping skills, assertiveness, and any other need that requires support so students may find greater social and academic success throughout their day.  Social workers and psychologists also collaborate with teachers, parents, and outside service providers in order to provide comprehensive support for students experiencing social-emotional difficulties.