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Hampton City Schools Celebrates
the Second Annual International Social-Emotional Learning Day

Today, Friday, March 26, 2021, Hampton City Schools (HCS) is joining communities across the globe to celebrate the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL) on the second annual International SEL Day centered around Building Bonds, Reimagining Community.

Social emotional learning is a process through which adults and students learn to recognize and manage emotions, demonstrate empathy for others, develop positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and behave with integrity and respect.

In recognition of SEL Day, HCS schools and individual elementary, middle and high school classes (in-person and virtual) have been implementing activities throughout the week that promote and infuse social emotional learning. Activities have ranged from acts of kindness, understanding ones emotions, creating student temperature checks, mindful moments, meditation moments, and more. Additionally, 75 staff members are being spotlighted throughout the day on the HCS Facebook page (@HamptonCSchools). These staff members were nominated by their colleagues for being champions for social emotional learning.

Hampton City Schools Strategic Focus on SEL - HCS is committed to developing the social emotional competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making) of both adults and students in our division. The division did not purchase SEL programming but instead chose to embed SEL strategies, practices and explicit teaching into existing curriculum. This allows for the development of social emotional skills throughout the day and not a certain time of the day or week for these skills.
We began our three-year rolling strategic plan during the 2018-2019 school year. The plan creates foundational and sustainable practices and makes social emotional learning the foundation for both our climate and academic focus. With each step of the plan, there is intentional professional learning, rubrics and tools that are shared with administrators, central office staff and teachers as well as a virtual toolbox we created for staff that includes activities and resources that are grade level specific.

SEL takes on many forms in our schools. There are schools with non-negotiables of daily class or morning meetings. Several schools utilize closing circles as an opportunity to reflect and set goals for the next day. During language arts classes, read-alouds allow for students to identify social emotional learning competencies and discuss ways to apply the skills in their own lives. We focus specifically on creating opportunities for students to not just identify skills but to put them into practice. #SELmatters