Middle School
Social Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is critical to the development of Middle School students.

SEL, which teaches students how to regulate their emotions, connect effectively with others, and use and develop their strengths, has been linked with significant, positive outcomes for students, including greater resilience, well-being, and happiness, improved academic grades, and decreased emotional reactivity and stress.

HAFTR Middle School’s SEL initiative, spearheaded by HAFTR Middle School’s Guidance Team, focuses on four pillars. Students are provided with programming, workshops, and activities on the school-wide, classroom and individual level to ensure that they internalize and use the information they are taught to maximize their happiness and success.

Positive Psychology teaches students how to identify, use and develop their key strengths to become happier, more resilient and more successful. All Middle School students will engage in an activity where they identify their key strengths, and will be provided with opportunities throughout the school year to use their strengths, and to reflect on their experiences taking advantage of their character strengths and virtues.
In collaboration with the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association (JOWMA) our Guidance Department is undergoing intensive training in the DBT Skills in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT: STEPS-A). Our Guidance Team will begin piloting the curriculum this year, and will focus on teaching students necessary skills for everyday life, including regulating emotions, managing and tolerating difficult situations and feelings, effective advocacy, and a path towards thoughtful decision-making.
Digital Citizenship refers to the appropriate and responsible use of technology. As technology is a pervasive part of our students’ lives, they are taught about the many benefits of technology, and how to utilize it appropriately. Students are also taught about things that are safe and appropriate to post online and those that are not. Disinhibition on the internet, where people say and do things on the internet that they would not do in real life, is also discussed, and students are taught strategies to combat this prevalent trend. Students in each grade engage in workshops that are developmentally appropriate to discuss the appropriate use of technology.
As students grow, it is important they develop an understanding of how to stand up for themselves, and feel confident saying “no” when they are faced with situations or relationships that make them uncomfortable. Students in each grade learn how to identify and stand up for their own personal comfort level through psychoeducation, modeling and role play. Using a multi-tiered approach that includes school-wide, classroom and individual supports and programs, we are confident that our students will learn and develop skills that will improve their resilience, grit, happiness, and by extension, their academic performance.
haftr middle school

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