Starting in the 2020 school year, Timber Creek will become one of the Social and Emotional Learning pilot campus for Keller ISD. Social and Emotional Learning is the process where children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, maintain positive relationships, make responsible decisions and more.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 2013-2014 school year 65-percent of public schools reported that one or more incidents of violence have taken place, which translates to about 757,000 crimes. In order to help students students during stressful years, Keller ISD announced that a fourth of all schools will be Social and Emotional Learning pilot campuses. Staff at each school filled out a needs assessment on how each campus is performing and if they would be a good pilot campus.
“We already have that sense of Falcon Family so when we people filled it out, of course we are already doing those things at Timber Creek,” explained Principal Michelle Somerhalder. “They saw that this was a place that would be a good pilot campus, so that’s how we got chosen.”
Somerhalder will have a core community of teachers, administrators, and counselors that will draft what the plan will look like as the year goes on. The plan will have a school wide affect on Social and Emotional Learning and teachers will embed different positive relationships activities so students will know how to build empathy, according to Somerhalder.
“I think it will affect everyone in the classrooms,” described Somerhalder. “I know this year we are even going to start doing culture circles through the history department, we’re going to have a mentoring program through the counseling office that we’re going to start with district mentors.”
The existing curriculum is built for middle and elementary campuses and not high school campuses so the community will have to learn how to implement the program before it is phased into the other high schools.
“I think its just very exciting to just see that piece. It’s not all about all the academic pieces, they’re important, but we definitely want to build the whole child. I think that’s very important even looking from all the way up,” explained Somerhalder. “I know we are very unified as a feeder pattern so even looking at just elementary schools all the way up just really building those skills. I know Falcons already have all of those skills and I think the more they can embed them the more successful we’ll be in the workplace one day and for those jobs that haven’t even been created yet.”
The plan is expected to have a large affect on how students learn and will translate to the real world. The soft skills needed in the world place will be taught to students to make their transition out of high school easier.
“I truly believe this program will have a positive impact on our students,” described Assistant Principal Rebecca Rose. “Helping them to relate to others, set goals, and make good decisions, these are basic life skills that we should be teaching our students now to help them navigate the world successfully when they leave us.”