SEL Awardee

Amy Prabhakaran

Rensselaer City School
Rensselaer, NY
“The Rensselaer City School District (RCSD) has been intensely engaged in developing an MTSS model for delivering SEL and focused heavily on building staff capacity to address the social emotional needs of students. We have made great strides in these areas and are proud of what has been accomplished, however we have identified an area of need which has not yet been addressed. Specifically, we have not engaged students in the process of identifying needs and working toward solutions. We believe that involving our students in leadership roles will not only benefit them individually, but will increase the impact of this work. Hence, RCSD is applying for this grant for the purpose of developing a Climate and Culture Advisory. The focus of the advisory will be on social media culture, cyberbullying and how these impact mental health. Students will be trained as peer mediators, create a messaging campaign, and develop presentations for students, caregivers, and community members. Research shows that learning from one's peers increases test scores, metacognition, and overall student satisfaction (Burton & Bruce 2012). By fostering opportunities for students to learn from one another, a positive school climate will increase and bullying will decrease. This advisory will positively impact students' perceptions of their social media usage, bullying, and mental health. Social media plays a large role in school aged children's lives, creating a committed team dedicated to digital citizenship and the connectedness to their own mental health is essential for healthy development in the digital era.”
Tags: District, Elementary School, Students Affected by Suspensions, Suburban, Traditional Public School