Welcome to Generation Schools Network's 
Advocacy & Social Emotional Learning Newsletter! 

This newsletter is the first in a series to share celebrations from schools implementing the Advocacy program, to provide program and curriculum updates, and to provide you with the latest articles and videos on Social Emotional Learning (SEL)!

Through the Colorado Rural Education Collaborative's SEL Expansion grant, we have been able to partner with 13 new school districts in the co-creation and implementation of an Advocacy program that works for their school and students.

Generation Schools Network (GSN) has completed their first round of SEL professional development training and is in the midst of completing SEL walkthroughs and training number two.

Salida School District collaborates and crafts plans for Advocacy time during their second SEL training.

S argent School District battles it out in a Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament during their second SEL training.

Advocacy & SEL Celebrations

Bennett Elementary School opens up Advocacy to Parents

The first week of November, Bennett Elementary School held a "Parent Learning Walk" where eight parents from their School Advisory Committee (SAC) participated in Advocacy classrooms. Parents were able to meet with the Advocacy teacher, and had a powerful debrief afterwards about what they observed and the importance of teaching SEL in the classroom. Bennett Elementary principal Anna Hogberg said it was great to hear about the parents experience and perspectives. 

Parents were invited to participate again at the end of November, and 28 parents joined students in the classroom during Advocacy! Hogberg says that the goal is to make parent attendance a regular part of the Advocacy classroom. 

If parents at your school would like more information about Advocacy and SEL, here is a one pager you can share with them. 

Weld Central Middle & High School Expelled and At Risk Student Services (EARSS) Grant

Weld Central Middle and Weld Central High school are in their first few months of implementing the EARSS grant. Over the next four years, the district will receive over $1 million to directly support students in grades 6-12 who are most vulnerable to expulsion, suspension and not graduating. Advocates have been working tirelessly with students and families since the beginning of the school year. Collectively, the four incredibly dedicated professionals have made over 250+ positive phone calls and home visits, as well as taking opportunities to initiate supportive interactions with parents and families. Additionally, they are making affirmative impacts on students' success in and out of school through daily and weekly check-ins, Advocacy/SEL groups, tutoring and academic support. 

EARSS in Action: A story from a Weld Central High School Advocate

"I am working with a young man who is a freshman. He struggled with poor behavior last year in middle school. His grades suffered, as well as his self-esteem. He told me at the beginning of this year that his name meant "stupid" and when he turned 17 he would drop out! The student started this year with four F's and a couple of behavior referrals.
Since I started working with him as his Advocate, in an SEL group and as his individual case manager, his behavior has improved significantly. I communicate regularly with his mother. Also, I attended his IEP meeting to discuss his goals and his potential. Once I stopped him in the hallway to congratulate him for his improved academics - I can't believe what a big deal that compliment was for him. 

Last week, he actually stopped by my office to inform me that he now only has one F and that he is committed to working hard to get the last grade up to passing. His mother told me that she definitely is seeing a change at home. Constant teamwork will be necessary for the time being, he is definitely headed in the right direction!"
 - Ulises Hernandez, EARSS Advocate  

If your school has any celebrations or updates to share on your Advocacy/SEL implementation, please reach out to  Ellen Sarkisian  so we can share it in the newsletter! 

What is the Social Brain? 

What is the Social Brain?

Dr. Patricia Kuhl calls the social brain the gateway to human cognition. In a series  of interviews Dr. Kuhl explains why social context is important to learning. 

Check out the video about Dr. Kuhl's research, or read more about it here!

This series was developed by Edutopia and the National Commission for Social and Emotional and Academic Development with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 
20 Tips to help De-escalate Interactions  with Anxious or 
Defiant Students

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) 25.1% of kids between the ages of 13-18 in United States have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. 
Additionally, NIH reports that 9% of 13-18 year olds have been diagnosed with ADHD, and depressive disorders have affected 11.2% of 13-18 year olds at some point in their lives. 

Most teachers, however, don't receive any or much training in behavior during their credentialing programs. 

Certified behavior analyst Jessica Minahan has 20 tips and strategies to help you approach defiant behavior in the classroom.  
Curriculum Feedback Form available on Google Drive!

Please share with us your feedback on the curriculum as you implement your Advocacy/ SEL program. This feedback form helps GSN keep track and address any issues that may come up with the usefulness of the curriculum. If you are having any trouble with accessing the lessons, links, content, etc. or have feedback on how to improve lessons based on your experience with your students, please fill out the form 
here  or reach out to your implementation coach.

Generation Schools Network™

455 Sherman St, Ste 120 l Denver, CO 80203 l  720.452.3605

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