SEL Awardee

Joey Gustafson

Amber Charter Schools
Bronx, NY
“We have reflected on what our students need in terms of socio-emotional learning and it has changed since COVID. Adelante will offer direct lessons and collaborative groups in grades 2-7 across all three locations (with 4 schools) of ACS. Adelante's purpose is to support our students who are experiencing emotional delay due two full years of remote learning (March 2020 - Feb. 2022) and the trauma of COVID. Almost all of our students are not exhibiting developmentally appropriate SEL behavior and abilities. For example, a 6th grader may act and think more like a 3-4th grader emotionally. This includes inadequate problem solving, conflict resolution, poor social cueing, "tattling," graffiti, pushing, tantrums, lack of self advocacy, and difficulty forming trust with non-family adults. We are seeing inconsolable crying from teens who take public transport on their own to school (something NY students do), but they have not had adequate practice for two years and are now fearful of leaving parents and home. Teachers and parents will be given new SEL tools to help students recover and move onward in their emotional development. In grades 2-4, students will receive Adelante lessons two times a week after morning meeting (the other three days, students will continue to receive Sanford Harmony lessons). In grades 5-7, students will receive their lessons as part of their twice weekly small group advisories. We believe we must provide an "emotional bridge" from student developmental levels before remote learning to where they should be: a kind of recovery mission.”
Tags: Charter School, District, Elementary School, Girls & Young Women of Color, Urban