Social-Emotional Learning

Social-Emotional Learning

Woven throughout The Country School’s 11-year experience is our Social-Emotional curriculum, a multi-layered program that is as valued as traditional academic learning. The social-emotional curriculum reflects our number one school rule: “Be kind.”

Social-Emotional Learning is a foundational skill set that allows students (as well as individuals in general) to thrive both academically and personally. SEL allows students to gain better self-awareness and understanding of their own identity and perspective, as well as the awareness and acceptance of others. In building this awareness of self and others, students learn to manage themselves both emotionally and socially, including how to recognize what makes for healthy relationships. A key aspect of Social-Emotional Learning includes the responsibility to self and others to make decisions that allows the student to live authentically and create partnerships with others that allow for growth and success. SEL is a key component of human development and introduces students to lifelong skills that are needed both interpersonally and intrapersonally, the "soft skills" that make individuals most successful both in the school setting as well as in the workforce.

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    At The Country School, we put much credence in the value of daily play as a rich and important vehicle for learning and the social-emotional development of each child. Students are seen as individuals with unique strengths. We foster self-confidence and self-awareness as important ingredients for success in learning and living. Children are given many opportunities to contribute ― through classroom jobs, service commitments, performances, and class meetings. The feelings of pride and accomplishment gained through assuming roles of responsibility encourage leadership.

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4th Grade Teacher Caitlin Hurtgen

I’m trained in Responsive Classroom, so I believe that the social and emotional well being of the students is as important as the core classes. It’s important that I know them well and that they learn how to know and support each other’s needs. They learn about CARES and how to take care of each other, their surroundings, and themselves.

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  • Responsive Classroom Approach

    We are a community of learners. As a whole faculty and staff we regularly spend time discussing our overall school culture. At the core of these discussions is Responsive Classroom, an approach to education that is associated higher student achievement and improved school climate. Parts of this program have been integral to our school culture at The Country School; a perfect example is our five-year rotation of CARES (Cooperation, Assertion, Respect and Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-control).
  • Choose Love Movement

    We give our students constant opportunities to embrace differences, explore new perspectives, and find common ground in a multicultural world. We encourage them to be empathetic and to be brave enough to stand up when they see an injustice. The Choose Love movement seeks to cultivate children who are curious, who can turn to troubling issues like violence in schools, mental illness, trauma, bullying, suicide, and substance abuse and then decide how to solve them.

    When it comes to issues of the heart, we all need to be part of the solution. We all are responsible because this is a way to reclaim personal power. Choose Love seeks to teach tools and skills for resilience, to teach kids it’s not okay to hurt one another. Choose Love embraces social emotional learning as the solution. Social Emotional Learning is self-awareness, responsible decision making, relationship skills, social awareness, and self management.
341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
P. 203-421-3113  |  F. 203-421-4390  |  Health Office F. 860-469-2550
Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.