Simply put, happy and well-adjusted children progress more ably than their peers who lack social skills and coping abilities. How children learn is as important as what they learn and the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction. Our EC community is built around the social-emotional curriculum entitled Responsive Classroom. Embedded in the students’ daily interactions with their teachers and peers, RC uses strategies that cultivate positive relationships, behavior management and redirection techniques represented by the acronym CARES (cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control). These behaviors will serve children through school and beyond where they apply these skills to be humble, confident leaders. Through Responsive Classroom principles students learn responsibility for themselves and for others as they care for their belongings and their classroom.
Just as the Lower School utilizes Responsive Classroom for their social-emotional curriculum, in advisory groups, Middle School students employ Second Step, which focuses on five themes:
- empathy and communication
- bullying prevention
- emotion management
- problem solving
- substance abuse and prevention.
Second Step is not taught in a vacuum and moves out of the class into real situations. At IDS, every day is a day to learn how to create a safe, respectful learning environment.