Carthage Elementary School District bringing social-emotional learning to classrooms

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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CARTHAGE, Illinois (WGEM) - Students at Carthage Primary and Middle Schools will see a slight change to learning curriculum.

The district is implementing social-emotional learning programs as well as bringing on a full-time social worker. Carthage Primary School special education teacher Megan Brink said she noticed many students struggling with social interaction and conflict resolution. She said social-emotional learning will allow teachers to educate students on how to manage their emotions.

“There’s students who we might not recognize initially who could benefit from social-emotional learning, but they will be receiving those skills and be able to work and develop on those things,” Brink said.

Brink said this opens up opportunities to develop self-awareness and build interaction skills.

Before the upcoming school year, social worker Kaley Kite served multiple districts. Now becoming a full-time Carthage Elementary School District employee, she fills the position with the goal of building relationships and providing support that students might not have gotten during the pandemic.

“Kids come to school and they’re carrying a lot more than their backpacks,” Kite said. “You think about these kids being at home and the lack of structure and not being in the school setting, having to come back and’s very difficult.”

Kite said she will provide social-emotional services in and out of classrooms. This includes interventions and more time for one-on-one learning.

“It’s really crucial that we understand that for a student to thrive they have to recognize all of those needs and take a wholistic approach to education,” Kit said.

When Superintendent Dustin Day came to the district two years ago, he said he analyzed what the school needed. Additionally, teachers came to him about the potential for social-emotional learning.

“This service was very warranted here in our district to not only increase learning but also we not only want good students but we want to make better citizens and better people as well,” Day said.

Day said the district will self-assess throughout the school year and determine what else they could implement. The school year begins Wednesday, Aug. 17.

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