Social/Emotional Learning

At the Jewish Community Day School of RI we believe that children do better when they feel better. The social and emotional skills students are taught at JCDSRI will help them throughout their lives as they become leaders and changemakers in their communities. Additionally, practicing kindness, collaboration and empathy help us create our school’s vibrant, diverse and welcoming Jewish community.

Prioritizing social emotional learning (SEL) and explicitly teaching students how to recognize their own feelings and those of others prepares our students to approach their relationships and their responsibilities with insight and empathy. Teachers set aside time each day to bring the class together as a community. During these meetings, students practice active listening, engage in problem solving, and learn to invite and appreciate different outlooks with an open mind. In addition, JCDSRI educators utilize Positive Discipline, weaving its tenets purposefully and diligently into our classrooms and our school culture. Students and teachers co-create classroom expectations and work together to uphold them, using age-appropriate communication skills, problem-solving skills and various techniques to identify, express, and manage feelings. 

The focus of our social learning develops as our students mature. For example, in our younger grades, students will learn to recognize their own needs as well as those of others and practice strategies to self-regulate. Our preschool students are introduced to a Peace Table in order to talk to friends about problems, feel heard, and collaboratively design solutions. These Peace Table steps accompany our students as they grow through the grades, using the systems and skills they practiced to sort through challenges. Each classroom also incorporates a quiet space that students may use to calm down, refocus, or recharge. In our older grades, we help our students manage stress through techniques such as yoga, mantras, developing growth mindsets and perseverance.  These habits of mind help our students embrace both academic, social and spiritual challenges. 

By teaching our children to be independent, capable problem solvers, we enable them to use their personal power constructively.  We believe it is our responsibility to help them learn to use their gifts in ways that contribute to their families, their communities and to the world. Families of our graduates often return to share how the kindness, compassion, and emotional intelligence that was fostered at JCDSRI dramatically impacted their children’s academic and social success in middle school and beyond.