The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has placed an increased emphasis on educating the whole student. In Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education: 2019-2024 published by ODE in June it states, “Ohio can only reach success by meeting the needs of the whole child. The time a child spends in school is precious and should ensure all aspects of a child’s well-being are addressed, including the physical, social, emotional and intellectual aspects.” In defining whole child, ODE utilized the following definition from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: Whole child is defined by policies, practices and partnerships that ensure each child, in each school, in each community, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.
Our school district is working to increase opportunities for our students focused on the needs of the whole child. Guided by ODE’s new social and emotional learning (SEL) standards, the Huber Heights City Schools is implementing a “Warrior Period” at each of our five elementary schools. “Warrior Period” will help our students develop self-awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. Younger students will cover topics such as taking turns, playing together, and problem solving. Students in the older elementary grades will work on understanding different perspectives, dealing with peer pressure, and managing frustration. Staff hired to carry out the “Warrior Period” have a background in the social work area.
Research demonstrates that students who have social and emotional learning as part of their school day do better academically, socially, and behaviorally. Additional information about SEL can be found on ODE’s website. As always, if you have questions about our schools, please contact me at the Administrative Offices (237-6300) or through e-mail at Susan.Gunnell@huberheightscityschools.org.