Welcome Back MSDWT Families!

Social Emotional Learning Edition 2020

"With great adversity, comes great OPPORTUNITY!"

We recognize that the past few months have been very challenging for our students and their families! Although the start to this school year is unlike any other, there are many opportunities for us to learn, grow, connect and succeed TOGETHER!


Join us as we enter this unique year filled with a positive mindset and build resilient communities!


This newsletter provides:


  • Overview of SEL in MSDWT
  • SEL supports for home
  • Additional ways to learn more and engage!
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What is Social Emotional Learning?

What Is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

What is SEL in my child's classroom?

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Second Step Curriculum

All MSDWT K-6 General Education classrooms utilize an SEL core curriculum called Second Steps.


These are explicit lessons taught daily and support Social Emotional learning skills during students' Live Virtual Morning Meetings. This is rooted in the Responsive Classroom Framework which is a core philosophy in all K-12 MSDWT schools.


When school resumes these lessons will continue in person.


Second Step "Home Links" may be provided by your classroom teacher to support these skills at home.


In addition SEL skills are practiced and reinforced throughout the school day by teacher virtually and in person beyond the morning meeting!

Want to Learn More?

SEL At Home

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Brain States

Whether your child is receiving childcare or learning from home currently, Social Emotional Learning skills go beyond the classroom within your family interactions and other educational experiences your child engages in each day!


Neuroscience tells us, although the brain functions as a whole there are 3 states...


There are experiences we can foster at home to support each brain state!


Conscious Discipline Dr. Becky Bailey 2014

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At Home Strategies

Survival State: "Am I Safe?"

  • Regulate the body with experiences that calm the senses (music, tactile tools, soft pillows, dim lighting, scents, healthy foods, exercise)
  • Consistent Predictable Routines
  • Practice DEEP BREATHING together!
"Just Breathe" by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films)
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Emotional State: "Am I Loved?"

  • Physically connect with your child with hugs, kisses and snuggles to build attachment and comfort
  • Build in time for free play, alone silent reading or rest time and interactive time together such as a family-board games, drawing, reading aloud, etc.
  • Limit screen time to age appropriate levels and provide opportunities to interact together as a family
  • Limit your own screen time and social media consumption to allow yourself to be present
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Executive State: "What Can I Learn From This?"

It is evident that STRESS is very high right now in our homes, our schools, our workplace and the community.


However, we can model RESILIENCE to our children to learn and reflect from these experiences together!


We have the POWER to choose how we RESPOND and our kids are WATCHING!

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Reach out to learn more!

Hi, I am Emily Dills the Social Emotional Learning coach for all 8 MSDWT elementary schools.I am entering my 13th year in education and am also a proud MSDWT parent and community member!


i work with teachers, students and school leaders at all schools to support SEL in our classrooms.


I love to collaborate with PTO, family groups and individuals to support this important work for our classrooms, schools and wider community!