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Besides providing all students with a quality education, Dallas ISD educators are also committed to helping children develop positive social and emotional skills.

Social Emotional Learningor SEL in Dallas ISD is building skills, knowledge, and attitudes that both students and adults need to lead healthy, successful and productive lives.   

Schools throughout the district, including W. T. White High School; middle schools: Edward H. Cary, Thomas C. Marshand E. D. Walker; and George H. W. Bush, Chapel Hill Preparatory School, F. P. Caillet, and John J. Pershingelementary schools from District 1, are implementing SEL practices in their daily school routines.

One of the SEL practices implemented at the elementary level is “Mind Breaks”, which can range from a five-minute meditation to a song. This break helps to refresh the brain. Students are taught to self-regulate, and in turn, are able to return to learning. The campus data is positive and has increased classroom academic performance as well as classroom management.   

Seeing students, staff and visitors being greeted and welcomed as they enter the school is another common SEL practice at elementary campuses. Students begin their day with morning meetings and they close out the day on a positive note with an “Optimistic Closing”. Welcoming and positive teaching and learning environments are contributing to schools’ academic gains.

At the secondary level, students learn about empathy and self-awareness throughout the school year. They are able to take a step back and apply the golden rule of treating others like how they would like to be treated. This practice creates an environment that allows students to voice their concerns and be an advocate for who they are, what they know, and what they need.

Parents, I encourage you to talk to your child’s teacher and find out how you can integrate SEL practices in your home routine to continue fostering your child’s positive social and emotional skills.

In other topics, we’re a couple of weeks away from the deadline to apply for admission to a Dallas ISD specialty school – January 31. Visit: www.dallasisd.org/yourchoicesto apply to the school which best meets your child’s needs.

If you have a student entering kindergarten, 1st, or 2ndgrade and would like for him/her to learn two languages, the two-way dual language talented and gifted program at Walnut Hill Elementary School may be a perfect fit for your family. Attend an information session on Tuesday, January 22 and be sure to apply by January 31 at www.dallasisd.org/ApplyWalnutHillTAG. Spots are limited!

Speaking of Walnut Hill, congratulations to Principal Chase McLaurin, for being a finalist for this year’s district Principal of the Year recognition. His leadership and dedication have taken the school to the next level and for that I commend him!

Follow us on social media for district news and events: Facebook.com/Dallasisd or via Twitter @DallasSchools.

Trustee Edwin Flores, District 1

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