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Senate President holds Fourth Annual Social Emotional Learning Forum
Event to offer parents tools to support students' success during pandemic and beyond
On Friday, March 19, 2020, Massachusetts Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) will hold a virtual event entitled, "Supporting our Students through COVID-19 and Beyond." The event is the Senate President's fourth annual Social Emotional Learning (SEL) forum part of her #MetroWestKids initiative and is aimed at offering resources to educators and parents. This important event is being presented in partnership with the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and will feature local and statewide experts in social emotional learning.
"In this moment, ensuring our young people's future success means stepping up and stepping into their lives to understand the hardships they are facing due to COVID-19," stated Senate President Spilka. "The need to talk about our kids' mental health has never been so great. I hope all MetroWest parents and educators who are interested will join us on March 19."
While continuing to provide parents with tools to support the development of key skills, such as making self-aware, responsible decisions and maintaining healthy relationships, this year's event will also deal with the specific challenges faced by young people in light of the pandemic. In particular, the forum will highlight methods to reduce stress levels, build resilience, and promote overall wellness.
Those interested in the event, which will be held on Zoom, may register at https://karenspilka.com/sel. The event will be from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on March 19, 2021. All are welcome to join, but event will be focused on MetroWest. Participants may submit questions to the featured experts when registering.
|Fourth Annual Social Emotional Learning Forum - Mar 19|
"Diversity– “The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc” is what comes up when searched on google. But what does this really mean?
To myself and many others, diversity is being inclusive to all and not just the ones we look like; it is standing up for someone even if you don’t know them. It is being a kind human- when you see people being judged based on the color of their skin and you stand up for them. We all deserve equal kindness and respect.
In order to deep dive into race relations at Franklin High School, I interviewed Mr. Hanna and have included his thoughts."
|Pantherbook: "Race Relations at FHS"|
January 6, 2021
Dear Franklin Families,
I am writing this evening from a place of strong emotions -- fear, anger, sadness -- over the violent events that erupted in Washington, D.C. earlier today. I know that I am joined by fellow educators and by Franklin families with these feelings.
The videos of rioters breaking into the Capitol to disrupt the certification of the 2020 Presidential election is contrary to the very foundation of our government and the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. And as I write, I am listening to members of Congress reconvene with what I truly hope is a turning point on the divisive rhetoric of recent years as they denounce the violent actions and seek to affirm confidence in the election process. Just as it is important for our elected officials to make these statements to the American people, it is important that we, both educators and parents/guardians, as trusted adults provide the children in Franklin with the reassurance of safety and education about our civic processes.
Our faculty and staff will, first and foremost, work to reaffirm safety and reestablish a sense of normalcy. This year, more than any other year, our faculty and staff have created safe spaces that foster opportunities for children to speak about their feelings in developmentally appropriate ways. We are providing families with the following two resources, which have been shared with our faculty/staff, as they may be helpful to you in processing the violent actions with your children.
NASP Online https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-resources/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers
When Bad Things Happen https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/summer-2013/when-bad-things-happen
Please know that our staff will be observant of student social-emotional needs and will connect them to resources for SEL support (e.g. counselors, administrators, and trusted adults). Please do not hesitate to reach out as well if you have concerns about your child.
In addition to processing the crisis and violence of the day’s events, the events that transpired represent a regrettably historic moment for our country. As educators, we take very seriously our responsibility to educate students about the history and current events in the United States and about the importance of civic engagement to our democracy. Doing so connects directly with the Franklin Public Schools Portrait of A Graduate, the community’s consensus set of essential skills that each child in FPS will practice and develop during their PreK-12 education. We are committed to the development of “Empathetic and Productive Citizens”: citizens who demonstrate social awareness through inclusivity and consideration of various perspectives, and citizens who develop an understanding of civics and democratic principles.
I am encouraging educators to be talking to our children (as developmentally appropriate) about these events.
Our approach is not to tell students what to think about issues, but rather, how to gather and examine information, think critically, engage with their peers, and draw informed conclusions. Our faculty and staff do not approach or teach from one political perspective, but rather remain neutral, while creating a constructive forum for students to explore and discuss the issues. FPS educators will, however, take a firm stance that violence is never a constructive way to problem-solve.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school if there is anything we can do to further support your child.
Superintendent of Schools
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In the spirit of open communication, “the Committee will hold a public participation segment (also called Citizen’s Comments) about matters not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made…. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment…. The Committee will hear public comments related to an agenda item when the Chair deems appropriate during the Committee meeting. Topics for discussion during the meeting must be limited to those items listed on the Committee meeting agenda for that evening…. ” - from Policy BEDHC. FHS Student Representative Comments
Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the FEA unit as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School Committee and the chair so declares.
|"Another detail shot of the Jefferson Elementary mural.... books parachuting from an airplane"|
Another detail shot of the Jefferson Elementary mural.... books parachuting from an airplane. @JeffersonLabs pic.twitter.com/1jpr8jDEk7— thesmilemovement (@smileproject) February 6, 2020