Middle School & Upper School Director
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 in the Upper School include:
- The Advisory program
- Wellness program
- Mission Centered Seminars (Integrity/Ethics)
- Service Learning
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.
During the 2015-2016 school year, 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:
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