Social & Emotional Learning

The Colorado Springs School has always defined itself by the quality of its student-teacher mentoring, the camaraderie felt among its students, and the good work that its current students and graduates do inside and outside of the school. At CSS, we celebrate social and emotional learning and growth in our students and find a wide variety of ways to encourage students to think about themselves and their lives beyond academics.

Some examples of CSS programs that promote social and emotional learning include:

  • Advisory program in all divisions
  • Creative Dramatics program in Children’s School and dramatic performances throughout Middle and Upper School
  • Athletic experiences with real-world lessons in resiliency and grit
  • The 8th-grade Walkabout curriculum (emphasis on group dynamics and reflection)
  • Wellness class and initiatives in Upper School
  • Encouraging the practice of mindfulness

In our small classes, seminars, and our Middle and Upper School advisory programs, faculty help students develop their social and emotional skills by creating environments where students work in partnership with others toward a mutual goal.

CSS adopted Yale University’s RULER program to encourage our students’ social and emotional learning. Recent research directed by Marc Brackett at Yale University shows that students who become more aware of their emotions through participation in the RULER program experience less stress, better sleep, fewer disciplinary incidents, and do better in school than students who do not.

Social and Emotional literacy is defined as one’s attitudes about, knowledge of and expertise in applying five key emotion skills:

  • Recognizing
  • Understanding
  • Labeling
  • Expressing
  • Regulating

At The Colorado Spring School, the RULER program is grounded in four anchors:

  • the Charter (a community-created agreement of shared expectations)
  • the Mood Meter (a tool to help students gain experience with feeling words to facilitate RULER goals (recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating their emotions).
  • the Meta-moment—a simple strategy to encourage students to put some white space between their stimulus and their response
  • the Blueprint – a template for interaction that guides students to discuss the impact of behaviors on themselves and others, to encourage reflection, and to encourage making future plans

Learn more about our social and emotional learning program here.