SEL Awardee

Mark Christ

Desoto County Schools
Desoto County Schools
Lake Cormorant, MS
“Our project functions as a two-in-one approach to creating a more positive and cohesive school climate. Most of this initiative revolves around establishing a House system, wherein students will be randomly sorted into themed groups (Houses) and work collectively to reflect social-emotional learning targets and our positive-behavior framework. Implementing a House system will directly impact students, as they will work within House-specific student-led governance to be the driving force for our cultural reset. Throughout the year, school leadership will use data from our combined SEL and PBIS system Kickboard to celebrate student success in a variety of ways: school-sponsored activities such as dances, field trips, pep rallies and individualized recognition programs such as student-of-the-month and school-wide shout outs. Our hope is that these measures will further promote and instill the need for community and social-emotional skill-building throughout our school as students receive continual feedback and positive praise for embodying the core pillars of social-emotional learning. In building students up, these measures also foster a sense of confidence and competency in self-awareness, self-regulation and their growing ability to make responsible decisions. Yet another way this project will have an impact is in our students' social awareness capabilities, as they master strategies and techniques that allow them to properly build social connections and maneuver complicated nuances within social relationships. In the end, the impact throughout our school will be a systemic recalibration of a school-wide culture that has stagnated and begun to trend negatively.”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, ELs, Girls & Young Women of Color, LGBTQI+, Middle School, Rural, Teacher, Traditional Public School