South Orangetown Central School District

On November 19, the South Orangetown Middle School PTA hosted a presentation on social emotional learning (SEL) by Principal Chad Corey and Assistant Principal Joseph Onativia.

Last year, SOMS staff members attended trainings at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to learn about tools and strategies to assist students and adults in identifying and managing emotions, expressing empathy for others, maintaining positive relationships and making responsible choices. This year, the focus is on rolling out the RULER approach–recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating emotions–with staff to develop a deep understanding of the approach and how to teach these skills.

Part of this effort was the creation of a Staff Charter. “We worked together to build a Charter for all staff to use, from teachers and administrators to security guards and food service employees. We have created a sense of commitment to better support each other in modeling emotional intelligence so that we can help students regulate their emotions and behaviors effectively,” said Onativia. “It establishes a common set of values about how we want to feel, be treated and hold ourselves and each other accountable,” added Corey. “We continue to explore the impact that our emotions have on us as teachers and our students as learners. These are important life skills that students need to become college- and career-ready.”

The final SOMS administration PTA presentation, in February, will focus on technology.

SOMS administrators, standing, speak to small group of seated parents in library