Mentone — Mentone Elementary School has been awarded a $10,000 K21 Health Foundation grant for social-emotional learning.
It will be used with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence with training for the RULER Approach Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum.
In March 2020, TVSC was awarded an Indiana Youth Institute Capacity Building Grant. The grant included 100 hours of SEL consultation, development of a social-emotional framework and implementation planning with the district SEL team. As the foundation has been laid and implementation is ready to proceed to the next level, it was recommended that TVSC select a pilot school to implement the evidence-based Yale Center – RULER Approach program.
RULER is an approach to SEL that teaches emotional intelligence to people of all ages, with the goal of creating a healthier, more equitable, innovative and compassionate society. The impact will include the following: Improved leader and teacher effectiveness and retention; increased student engagement, attendance and academic performance; better quality relationships; enhanced decision-making; reduced drug, alcohol, discipline and bullying problems; less stress and anxiety; and greater health and well-being.
TVSC and Mentone will invite parents and community members to join in a book study in the fall centered around the book, “Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions To Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive,” authored by Dr. Marc Brackett of the Yale Center. Brackett also founded the RULER Approach.
The needs assessment was informed by several different instruments: A climate survey of Mentone in 2019, Panorama student surveys (taken every fall and spring) and the Valley Connects Family and Community surveys.
The surveys show that especially highlighted during this pandemic are common feelings of anxiety and depression. Feelings of isolation also affect our families and communities due to restrictions of activities or quarantine, with some students and family members having to quarantine more than once.
TVSC believes that the skill of learning how to identify and manage emotions will lead to positive emotional and physical outcomes for schools, families and the community.
The Mentone RULER Team Training will take place online April 19-May 28. The core team from Mentone includes Randy Dahms, principal; Caroline Day, school counselor (TVSC SEL Team); Katie Yoars, pre-K teacher; Meagan Wilks, TVSC Special Education Director (TVSC SEL/MTSS Team); and Inga Omondi (TVSC SEL/MTSS Team).
The sponsored RULER District Implementation Training will take place this summer on July 7, 8, 14 and 15. The district implementation team includes Blaine Conley, TVSC superintendent; Jon Ekhoff, TVSC school psychologist (TVSC SEL Team); and Lori Tilden-Geiger, director of marketing, public relations and grants (TVSC SEL/MTSS Team).
TVSC provides all staff training in the area of SEL and has established district-level TVSC SEL and MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) teams.
K21 Health Foundation President and CEO Rich Haddad shared this about the opportunity to partner with Tippecanoe Valley and the community in this important work.
“School systems have taken on the needs and challenges our kids face today and are working to develop our children holistically toward a bright future for each of them,” he said. “This includes so much more than intellectual development, so K21 is excited to provide an investment in TVSC toward emotional development and wellness for kids, families and the community.”
“The Tippecanoe Valley School Board, TVSC SEL Team and I would like to thank the K21 Health Foundation for being so insightful on the vital importance of partnering with schools to increase mental health awareness, its correlation to physical health and for providing the tools to teach the students the importance of managing emotions through the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This will be a game changer for the Valley Family and our community,” stated Conley.