A social and emotional learning plan has been approved for elementary grade level students in the Huntington School District. Trustees gave the green light to a proposal submitted for their consideration at a June 4 public meeting.
The state is requiring districts to adopt and implement a social and emotional learning program. Assistant Superintendent Beth McCoy and Director of Special Education and Student Support Services Diana Rich spearheaded Huntington UFSD’s vetting efforts.
The district has chosen the Sanford Harmony social and emotional learning program. The proposal approved by trustees was earlier submitted to the district’s Subject Matter Council and the Educational Development Committee.
“We looked at several programs,” Superintendent James W. Polansy said. “This one rose to the top and came with the added benefit of no cost. We looked at it last year before piloting the program this year in the lower grade levels.”
Sanford Harmony’s SEL program is research-based for students in grades K-6. “Sanford Harmony teaches students how to identify emotions, problem solve in difficult situations and apply coping skills when frustrated,” according to the proposal submitted to trustees. “It targets instruction to enhance self-management, relationship building and decision making skills.”
State regulations require districts to adopt an elementary school curriculum that “provides for participation in planned activities for developing attitudes, knowledge and behavior that contribute to students’ self-worth, respect for their bodies and ability to make constructive decisions regarding their social and emotional health,” according to the new program proposal.
By approving the Sanford Harmony SEL program for use in Huntington UFSD, trustees have met the state requirement that districts implement a curriculum.
The adopted curriculum “will further support early intervention for at-risk students presenting behavioral needs,” according to district officials.
A faculty committee consisting of Valerie Capitulo-Saide, Susan Danzig, Paula Gasparino, Christopher Theodorellis, Joseph Cohen, Valerie Monforte, Heather Barfuss, Carol Coffey, Melody Renick and Erica Murphy-Jessen evaluated the program’s materials.