Home Program Social Emotional Learning
Park Day School believes that social and emotional learning is pivotal to a child’s identity, and that academic work cannot be separated from it. Teachers approach social and emotional learning with developmentally appropriate practices and deep understanding of child development. Participating in community, understanding oneself as a friend and part of a larger whole — this is part of a K-8 education at Park Day School.
Educators at Park Day teach social and emotional skills in the same way we teach foundational academic skills– by providing opportunities for students to practice. Teachers intentionally design projects that require students to learn something about one another, engage in dialogue, and integrate others’ ideas with their own. Perspective taking is a key part of social-emotional learning, and acquiring the tools to empathize with how someone else is feeling, or imagine how someone else might hear a passing comment (and reframe it), is key.
Students are encouraged (and supported) to first go to the source, and try to resolve the issue directly and respectfully. Once something has been discussed, Park Day School students know that others are expecting respect and change.
Restorative practices strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities. Park Day teachers are trained in Restorative Practices, and use Restorative Practices Circles and other tools to enhance participatory learning and decision making. Restorative practices help to reduce bullying, improve human behavior, strengthen civility, cultivate effective leadership, restore relationships, and repair harm. Read guidelines for how we teach listening skills through a restorative practices framework.
Using five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making, Park Day students practice these behaviors and are supported through the school’s systemic approach to cultivating a caring, participatory, and equitable learning environment that infuses social and emotional learning into every part of students’ daily lives.
Mosaic is an immersive, experiential education program in diversity, empathy and conflict resolution. The MOSAIC values of Mutual Respect, Open Mindedness, Self Respect, Attitude, Individuality and Community are woven through the Park Day experience including in K-8 assemblies and gatherings. In 4th grade, students spend four nights with the Mosaic Project in nature, learning the skills they need to build the peaceful communities they envision.