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SEL In Action at the Belmont High School

Skill Development and Practice 

SEL skill development and practice occurs through 

  • Direct instruction 
  • Classroom practices 
  • School-wide practices and structures 
  • Infusion into the content 
  • Events 
  • Family engagement

SEL in Action in Belmont

Secondary Level:

Direct instruction on specific social and emotional skills and competencies occurs primarily in physical education wellness classes such as 9th grade Wellness and 10th grade Positive Decision Making. Direct instruction also occurs in other classes, such as when teaching communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution skills.

Classroom practices are a major source of SEL skill development at the secondary level. These include the routines and rituals in a classroom that foster a safe and supportive learning environment, such as greeting students each day, having predictable classroom routines, and creating opportunities for student voice and choice in class decisions.

School Wide Practices and Routines 

Here is an an example of a school wide structure to support social and emotional development of BHS students. In August 2018 we launched an expansion of the Class Connectors program to support students as they transition into Belmont High School as 9th graders. As we all know, our 9th graders often struggle when they come to BHS. They leave close knit teams for departments, have to find their way around a new building, have to get used to a new and complex schedule. The social emotional adjustment can be difficult for some students. The idea for a transitional orientation program grew out of two seniors’ Global Capstone project designed to ease the 8th to 9th grade transition. The result was the expansion of the Class Connectors into a yearlong peer advisory program. Each group of 30 ninth graders will has four connectors assigned to them. They first met with their connectors on Thursday, August 30. That evening the connectors got to know the 9th graders, led tours of the school, and helped facilitate a meeting with their guidance counselors. The PTSO generously donated a pizza dinner for all of the students. On the first day of school, the Class Connectors hosted a half day orientation program for their advisory groups. During the half day schedule, the 12th grade connectors led a series of presentations for the 9th graders in various locations throughout the school. Topics included academics, extracurricular activities, and a quick guide to becoming a successful BHS student. We have received positive feedback from both 12th and 9th graders about this program so far. Our plan is to continue to have Class Connectors meetings throughout the school year.

Climate and Culture 

In 2017-18 we began a new initiative called the Marauder of the Week with the goal of creating an opportunity to recognize a diverse group of students. We know that at the awards ceremony, it often is the same kids over and over getting recognized. This program is a chance to recognize many students for a broad array of reasons both scholastic and beyond. Two-three students are recognized each week, selected by rotating groups of staff. These seniors are profiled and their accomplishments published on the BHS website. Through this we are able to highlight a broad group of the amazing kids that go here.

There are many annual traditions at Belmont High that promote engagement and community. Examples of this include Spirit Weeks, the pep rally, and Belmont Idol.