Nurturing Respectful Environments
This week, our students, parents, and families may be experiencing strong emotions and a range of feelings. During this time, we must demonstrate respect for all opinions and perspectives, and I ask that you continue to support our students by providing them with a safe environment to engage in discourse and process their emotions.
Regardless of personal beliefs, we have a responsibility to nurture a safe, supportive and respectful environment for all students. As we help students process their feelings, it is a prime opportunity to use the five Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies as our guide:
• Self-Awareness: Recognizing our emotions and values as well as our strengths and limitations
• Self- Management: Managing emotions and behaviors
• Social Awareness: Showing understanding and empathy for others
• Relationships Skills: Forming positive relationships, working in teams and dealing effectively with conflict
• Responsible Decision Making: Making ethical, constructive choices about personal and social behavior
Austin ISD has a number of supports in place to help students process their emotions. School counselors are available at every campus to offer classroom guidance, along with small group and individual support. SEL coaches are available to come to schools to support the teaching of skills and competencies that can help students better understand their feelings. Licensed mental health professionals may also be utilized to help secure support for children and families with the most pressing needs. Should you have any questions about these services, please contact Dianna Groves at email@example.com.
Thank you for setting a positive example for our students and ensuring that our schools are safe and supportive for all.
Paul Cruz, Ph.D.
Austin ISD Superintendent