This inspiring session featured four school leaders who have launched schools because they believe important aspects of school need to be redesigned to support authentic development of social-emotional learning (SEL) in students. The school leaders who presented on their models included:
- Jonathan Hanover, Executive Director and Principle of Roots Elementary School
- Sara Cotner, Founder and Executive Director of Montessori for All
- Todd Dickson, Founder and CEO of Valor Collegiate Academy
- Daren Dickson, Chief Culture Officer of Valor Collegiate Academy
These leaders have designed their schools to get at the core of authentic personal growth and development. They are not just tacking an SEL curriculum to their instructional models, but rather putting SEL and skill development at the foundation of their models and integrating rigorous academic from there.
“It is essential to structure classrooms like a micorsociety and community and to structure the student experience to align with children’s developmental needs,” Cotner said during this session.
Training adults in SEL skills is essential to effective SEL development in students and cultural responsiveness needs to be a key piece of this work.