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Social and Emotional School Climate

OVERVIEW

Social and Emotional School Climate refers to the psychosocial aspects of students’ educational experience that influence their social and emotional development. The social and emotional climate of a school can impact student engagement in school activities; relationships with other students, staff, family, and community; and academic performance. A positive social and emotional school climate is conducive to effective teaching and learning. Such climates promote health, growth, and development by providing a safe and supportive learning environment.

CSH TEAM FACILITATOR – HEALTH SERVICES

VISION

We hope to help students and staff make positive connections by increasing the emotional climate within the District and creating a supportive emotional community.

STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS

  • December to Remember
    In support of this vision, the Social and Emotional Sub Committee doubled down on the ways staff in the district made students feel they are part of the BC community with a special initiative called “December to remember” that began the month of December and will continue throughout the school year.
    Faculty and staff were asked to look for even more ways to engage and connect with students leading up to BC’s holiday break. They were asked to greet students in the morning before they entered the building or classroom. Extending a handshake, using their names more often, adding praise where it fit and asking how their day was going.

  • The Backpack Program
    The Bethlehem Central High School Student Senate has launched a districtwide effort to address food insecurity and food shortages affecting some of the district’s students by introducing a weekend backpack food program. The BC Backpack Program is intended to supplement food resources for affected students when school is not in session, focusing on weekends, holidays and school breaks.
    Research has shown that students who are not hungry attend school more regularly, have improved academic achievement, and have fewer disciplinary issues at school. Food shortages and/or nutritional deficiencies can have a long-term impact on a child’s physical and mental health and economic future.

  • Bus of the Month
    In February the District introduced a new program for elementary students in Bethlehem who ride the bus called “Bus of the Month.” The program is designed to create a supportive and positive environment to and from school and to strengthen school bus behavior by focusing on the four Rules of the Bus: listen to your driver; keep your hands to yourself; stay in your seat; and use your inside voice.
    With a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” bus drivers will report daily on overall behavior of students who ride the buses to and from the district’s five elementary schools. At the end of each month, the bus with the highest number of positive reports at each school will be awarded with the Bus of the Month placard.