Archived Story

APS: Woodson prepares youngest students for success

Published 11:16am Friday, February 1, 2013

Early intervention is a commitment the Community Learning Center and Woodson Kindergarten Center embrace in all areas of children’s learning, including teaching them how to interact appropriately with other kids.

Friendship skills, handling intense emotions, treating others with respect and being responsible are just a few areas staff at these buildings teach their students on a regular basis. Drawing from expertise in working with young children and their families, staff in these two district programs utilize a variety of techniques and resources to build a strong social and behavioral foundation.

The Community Learning Center provides educational services to children and their families from birth through 5-years-old. Woodson Kindergarten Center is the next step in the district education system serving 5- and 6-year-old students. Staff in these buildings provide ground level service for children and families and have an opportunity to make a significant impact on children’s future trajectory. Family involvement is also a priority in preparing students to be respectful, responsible and caring.

The Community Learning Center has initiated a framework termed TACSEI (Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Interventions for young children). The focus is on creating a building-wide environment that utilizes similar positive language; emphasizes expectations for behavior and treatment of peers; provides ongoing education to students about behavior, emotions and social skills as part of the curriculum; seeks to engage and support parents; and creates a highly skilled workforce. The Community Learning Center provides in-home strategies for parents to support their child’s social/emotional/behavioral learning. There are also problem-solving opportunities for teachers to gain support from colleagues.

Woodson Kindergarten Center enlists a similar framework of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. This too creates positively framed, building-wide behavioral expectations that focus on reinforcing caring behavior of all students. Students are encouraged and taught what it means to take care of each other, take care of themselves and take care of property. Preventative behavioral and social interventions are routinely brainstormed through a Student Assistance Team and within classroom teams.

In both buildings teachers take advantage of “teachable moments” to review social rules with students. Staff uses books, games, classroom discussion, puppets, role modeling, role-playing, songs, small group instruction, art projects, worksheets, specific curriculum and technology to reinforce essential concepts in developing students’ character attributes.

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel,” — Unknown.

Melissa Kossoris is a psychologist and and Lori Coughlin is a school social worker.

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