RusSELl Family Newsletter

November 2020-2021

SEL at The Russell

With so much change and uncertainty this school year, prioritizing and nurturing our students' health and wellness is at the forefront of our mission. By incorporating SEL (social-emotional learning) principles into daily life at the Russell, our students are learning how to effectively manage stress, foster relationships, build strong self image, set positive goals, practice resilience, and live with compassion.
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Russell SEL

The Russell community's commitment to SEL is supported by community partners, grants, and curriculum. Learn more on our web page.

Practicing SEL at Home

As students learn social and emotional skills, it's important they have opportunities to practice and apply these skills at school and at home. This Video by CASEL (The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) provides some wonderful examples of how to practice SEL at home. Also available in Spanish.

Month of Gratitude

During the month of November, the Russell is focusing on the theme of gratitude.

Each grade will plan an activity showcasing who and what they are thankful for. We will share a video of everyone's work right before Thanksgiving break.

Try this Gratitude Scavenger Hunt with your family and take a picture of each item.

We would love to see what ends up on your list!

Email gratitude lists to Ms. Melfa:

Breath of the Month

Design a "deep breathing turkey" with your child. Take time to color, paint, and decorate however you want. Trace up as you take a deep breath in through the nose. Trace down as you take a gentle breath out through the mouth. Repeat with each feather.

Remote learning is challenge for everyone. Regrouping with your child at the end of the day to share success and challenges can make this unusual time feel a little more doable. This article 3 Words That Reframe, "How Was Your Day?" shares a wonderful conversation model to have with your family at the end of each school day.

Book of the Month

The Whole-Brain Child provides insight into children's growing brains and offers 12 accessible strategies adults can use to help children understand emotions, find calm, and live balanced lives. Here's an overview of the strategies.

SEL in Action

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K0 Ms. Petullo

Ms. Petullo's class has been reading books together about emotions and learning how to identify each. They have also been engaging in new SEL activities including breathing and yoga.

5th Grade

The 5th grade classes have been doing daily check-ins to find out how each child is doing emotionally and mentally. They have been taking breaks during the day and having awesome dance parties featuring some of Ms. Timothy's and Mr. Scialoia's old school favorites.

MindUP Curriculum

Students use MindUP Lesson 1 to learn how brain function relates to mindful learning, self-regulation, and healthy decision making.

Partnership Updates

Playworks got up and running at the Russell School in October with virtual class game time for each homeroom! Students have had a lot fun playing games like Land, Sea, Air and Up, Down, Stop, Go. These games are also great for students to practice their listening skills. You can play with Coach Jonah here! The Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program also started at the end of October for 4th and 5th grade students. The Junior Coaches are excited to start leading games being leaders for their peers!

Contact Jonah Williams at if you have any questions about Playworks.

Here at One Bead, our mission is to have every child meet a local leader, practice their public speaking, and make a difference in their community. We are excited to be kicking off our Teach Program with 60 families starting this week! We spent much of October enrolling families and attending the in-person supplies pick up to recruit families for our program. Enrollment will be rolling for the next few weeks. Aside from our Tech Program, we have been busy hosting our weekly Local Leader Spotlights where our students get to interact with leader from the community. Special shout outs to Kimilly, Amancia, and Jezlany from the 4th grade, and Evando from the 5th grade for attending almost all of our interviews since last spring - ROCKESTARS! Check them out:

Interested in getting involved? Contact Kate Moreau:

This past month, we began our Learning Hubs for members who were attending school remotely. We provide safe, structured, and supportive learning environments for our members with a focus on their social and emotional well-being. During break times and after school, we have incorporated fun activities like art, music, sports, fitness, STEM & more! With BPS going fully remote for the time being, we will continue to operate our Learning Hubs. As we move into the school year, we are planning on offering more enrichment programs and activities. Relationships in our Learning Hubs are very important to carrying out Social & Emotional Learning. Members are with the same group of children and staff for the duration of the program, so building strong, positive connections with their peers and adults has been amazing during these stressful times. For more information, please reach out to Brendan McDonald -
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Next SEL Meeting Tuesday the 17th 7:15-8am

Parents are invited to all Russell committee meetings. Click on this button for the recurring Zoom link to our SEL/PBIS meetings which happen every other Tuesday from 7:15-8am.