Category: Student Development

Social Connection in Socially Distanced Classrooms

By Carin L. Reeve As we begin to imagine re-opening school buildings for in-class instruction in the fall, it becomes clear that there are many layers that will need to be thought through and addressed in order to safely bring students and staff back into classroom communities. School with social distancing guidelines doesn’t have to be boring or full of anxiety. With a little innovative thinking, we can help teachers and students feel safe and connected to their classroom communities, even when things might look and feel very different. Students talking to students We know that strategies like “Turn andRead More

Building Women Enrichment Class Teaches Teamwork, Empowerment

“Building Women has taught me that girls can do everything that boys can do… even if we think we can’t!” sixth grader Nadia Jackson said. “When I get older, I’ll be able to teach other women how to cooperate and work together as a team.” In this profile of our Building Women Enrichment course at H.W. Smith, the Syracuse City School District highlights the young women who have been building their self-worth, teamwork and leadership skills – and improving the school – thanks to a Building Women group. The enrichment group provides empowerment and personal growth opportunities to girls inRead More

What is Missing From Our Social Emotional Learning Plan? Systems Thinking!

Educators spend a substantial amount of time trying to solve problems, and even more time wondering why our solutions did not yield the expected results. When it comes to implementing social and emotional learning, if we expect to have an impact, we must apply systems thinking to our plan. Carin Reeve, Director of School Improvement, wrote recently in Vanguard Magazine about the importance of a systems thinking approach to supporting the social and emotional health of our students.     What is Missing From Our Social Emotional Learning Plan? Systems Thinking! In the past two decades, schools have become increasingly awareRead More

S.T.A.R. POWER: Peace, art fills extended learning day in one Syracuse school

“When the state mandated that H.W. Smith Pre-K-8 School in Syracuse adopt an extended learning day three years ago, Peaceful Schools stepped in to fill the students’ longer day with art, engineering and S.T.A.R. POWER.” Behavioral rehearsal of social skills pairs with hands-on projects in dance, robotics, painting, coding, leadership, and other courses in our Enrichment Programs in the Syracuse City School District. Since 2015, our Enrichment Instructors have woven together the social-emotional themes at the heart of all Peaceful Schools projects with fun, engaging, standards-driven courses in Syracuse elementary and middle schools. visited with our students at H.W.Read More