Preschool through IB Middle School

Social Emotional

At Boulder Country Day School, we realize that social-emotional skills is as important as academic achievements. In order to support our students in building character, being positive members of the community, and becoming critical thinkers and proficient problem solvers, we employ age appropriate social-emotional curricula as they progress through their journey at BCD.


Social-emotional learning begins at home with a child's parents and is extended at school with a child's teachers and BCD's supportive community. Beginning in preschool, we live our school's motto: respect yourself, respect others and take responsibility for your actions. This motto is the foundation for the Boulder Country Day education experience and an essential component of our preschool program. With this in mind, teachers strive to model pro-social interactions, problem solving skills, growth mindset, and leadership. We use Love and Logic (a deep care and respect for children combined with logical consequences for misbehavior). For example, if a child throws sand in the sandbox, he/she may have to take a break from the sandbox. Daily life experiences combined with opportunities to learn from mistakes support children in learning to navigate the social world. We believe that social-emotional skills are just as important as the ABCs and 123s. Whether a person is five-years-old and knocking over other children's block towers or 50 years-old and upsetting coworkers at the copy machine, it is kind of the same thing. The social-emotional skills that a child develops at young age will help to carry him throughout his lifetime.   

Kindergarten - First Grade

Students in grades Kindergarten and first grades continue practicing and build on social-emotional skill they have learned in preschool and at home. Our school motto, respect yourself, respect others, and take responsibility for your actions is the foundation and focus used to help students navigate social issues. In the Elementary School, we use the Responsive Classroom programs to support social-emotional skills development and teach important life skills like problem solving, conflict resolution, effective communication, empathy and how to be a good friend. In the classroom and on the playground, students practice and gain skills that will serve them in any social situation throughout life. We believe that these social-emotional skills are a vital part of each student's education and development.

Second - Fifth Grade

In the upper elementary year, we use both the Responsive Classroom and Kid Power programs to support social-emotional skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, effective communication, empathy and how to be a good friend. Kid Power is introduced in second grade and continues through the fifth grade. This program encompasses a customized curriculum covering current social issues that the students work to problem solve together with the use of role play, thought provoking activities, and guided discussion led by BCD's school counselor. These learned skills are reinforced throughout the week in the classrooms by the classroom teachers. Some examples of these topics include: effective communication, navigating friendship issues, peer pressure, feeling included, and empathy. In addition, fifth grade students also participate in activities designed to support their transition to middle school. The goal of Kid Power is to give our elementary age students the tools and foundation to relate to others and build self-esteem creating a culture of empathy, empowerment, and cooperation.

Middle School

As students move into the Middle School, social-emotional skills development is integrated into student advisory periods. In addition to covering life skills, each grade has an emphasis that incorporates the characteristics of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner and BCD's school motto: Respect Yourself, Respect Others, and Take Responsibility for Your Actions. Click here for more information on DDMS . Click here for more information regarding the profile of an International Baccalaureate learner

The sixth grade curriculum is focused on "self." The students are guided through exercises and discussions that require them to contemplate where they come from, what they believe in, what their goals are, and what to look for in friends and environments that will support them in building a strong sense of self-respect and self-esteem. They also participate in a project that explores the different roles they play in their lives, illustrating how social norms and expectations vary between them. The theme of the sixth grade year is to increase our students' self-awareness and get them thinking about their goals for the future.

As students move into seventh grade, the focus of advisory shifts more in the direction of how we function in relationships with others. Some of these activities and discussions look at understanding perceptual differences and how they affect our responses. Others covered topics include: what factors influence our perceptions, empathy, non-verbal communication and cues, how to respond to frustration, and formulating problem solving strategies. The goal of our seventh grade curriculum is to provide each student a solid foundation of their self-identity and enable him/her to effectively and respectfully work with others.

Our eighth grade curriculum builds on the two previous years of self-exploration and working with others and brings these concepts to a deeper and more global level. Some examples of the topics covered are: stereotypes, cultural differences and how these impact perception, and differences in cultural norms and how they can be misinterpreted. Students also explore their own global position through activities and discussions covering various topics, and examine the impact that they as individuals have (and hope to have) on the world. Additionally, students participate in discussions and activities that stimulate critical thinking. We incorporate fun activities that guide students through the process of investigating media and research so that students learn how to discover their own truths as independent thinkers.

In the spring, the eighth grade students turn their focus to the transition to high school as we help to prepare them for both the logistical and social changes that they will encounter in the next stage of their educational career.

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  • I am strong. I am BCD.

    - BCD Preschool student

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Boulder Country Day School    4820 Nautilus Court North • Boulder, Colorado 80301 • Phone - 303.527.4931 •
Boulder Country Day School, where academic distinction meets education with character. BCD is a top rated, accredited private school in Boulder, Colorado where every child has the opportunity to discover their own unique excellence. Distinguished by small class sizes, outstanding faculty, engaging academics and a focus on community, our preschool, elementary and IB middle school teachers strive to create a well-rounded educational environment that balances traditional subjects with the arts, world languages, athletics and project-based learning.