At Boulder Country Day School, we realize that social-emotional skills are 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.

Preschool

We believe that social-emotional skills are just as important as the ABCs and 123s and for this reason, social-emotional learning is at the core of our curriculum and everything that transpires in our preschool. The foundation of social and emotional learning begins at home with a child's parents/guardians and extends into our preschool classrooms through caring and supportive interactions with our preschool teachers and BCD's supportive community. Carefully planned learning experiences foster the children's social and emotional growth. Missteps happen and when they do we use Love and Logic to help the child work through the situation and learn from their mistakes using language and consequences that are rooted in dignity and respect. Learning to navigate the social world is a lifelong process and we strive to live by our school's motto: respect yourself, respect others and take responsibility for your actions. This motto is the foundation of the Boulder Country Day education experience and, we believe, an essential component of life. In partnership with parents, teachers serve as positive role models for the children as they interact with our preschool community and demonstrate the value of a growth mindset, perseverance, thoughtfulness, cooperation, and adaptability. We have a shared vision of the person our school is helping to develop. Children are our future and we believe that our preschool program helps the children who are enrolled learn to think about both their learning and how they treat others. 

Kindergarten - First Grade

Students in Kindergarten and first grade continue practicing and build on social-emotional skills 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 years, 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 Middle School, social-emotional skill development is integrated throughout the school day as well as into student advisory periods. In addition to covering executive functioning skills, the Middle School incorporates the characteristics of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile and BCD's school motto: Respect Yourself, Respect Others, and Take Responsibility for Your Actions. The Middle School utilizes the Developmental Designs Middle School curriculum as guidance to advisory meetings and activities. 

Through the use of the Developmental Designs Middle School Curriculum, 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. Some of these activities and discussions look at understanding perceptual differences and how they affect our responses. Other covered topics include: what factors influence our perceptions, empathy, non-verbal communication and cues, how to respond to frustration, and formulating problem-solving strategies. 

In addition to the advisory program, all middle school students participate in the Middle School Seminar. This program, which is modeled after the Aspen Institute’s Executive Leadership Seminar, uses readings to guide students through discussions of one’s own morals and ethics so that students learn how to discover their own truths as independent thinkers. Our 6th and 8th-grade students participate in creating a Personal Values Statement while our 7th graders write letters to their future selves.

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.

Relevant Articles

Connecting SEL to Academic Outcomes - Maurice J. Elias on edutopia.org, December 2020

Raising girls who are includers instead of mean girls - lisamccrohan.com, September 2014
Boulder Country Day School    4820 Nautilus Court North • Boulder, Colorado 80301 • Phone - 303.527.4931 • info@bouldercountryday.org
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.

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