Students examine bookmarks illustrating different emotions. Students keep these cards at their desk to reference when needed.

January 7, 2023

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is one of many ways the LSR7 schools empowers students with life skills to be successful in life, relationships and careers. It infuses the classroom experience with emotionally conscious practices to help students become well-rounded adults.

Richardson Elementary’s Suzanne Godfrey leads her class through a discussion about strategies students can use at school if they’re experiencing different emotions.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework guides LSR7’s SEL work through its focus on building up five important life skills:

• Self-Awareness
• Self-Management
• Responsible Decision-Making
• Relationship Skills
• Social Awareness

Kristin Jackson leads the class in “Make me laugh Monday” where students write jokes and puns on post-its that she reads for the class. This activity is part of the Capturing Kids Hearts program at Lee’s Summit High School.

Educators embrace various strategies to incorporate student wellbeing practices and adapt age-appropriate SEL practices into their classrooms that emphasize problem-solving, goal-setting and respect or empathy for others. The work is in part guided by the district’s Portrait of a Graduate and measured with Panorama surveys, which help the district incorporate student voice into its processes.

Sarah Young gives feedback on her Language Arts students’ papers next to Zoe, the Bernard Campbell Middle School facility therapy dog.

“Students are best served when emotional growth is a significant part of their academic journey,” Dr. Jesi Cygan, director of student support, says. “That growth is an important part of our district mission to prepare each student for success in life.”