Mindful, Social, and Emotional Learning
At Echo Horizon, we place a premium on Mindful, Social, and Emotional Learning. We value kind, caring, and ethical behavior on the part of students, teachers, and families.
We are committed to supporting these skills in all aspects of the school experience, including academics, specialist lessons, and unstructured times, such as lunch and recess. Research tells us that children who have well-developed social and emotional skills fare better academically in both the short and long-term. Research also tells us that mindfulness practice improves students’ attention and emotional regulation, increases their compassion for others, and reduces their stress and anxiety. Anecdotal evidence tells us that children with these skill sets are able to joyfully engage with their peers in collaborative learning at Echo Horizon and can draw on these competencies outside of school.
Our Flourish Program: Mindful, Social, and Emotional Learning, Leading to Wise Effort, Ethical Action, and Community Well-Being, highlights traits that we value and weave into the fabric of the school. The Flourish Program's nine traits—Curiosity, Empathy, Kindness, Optimism, Interconnectedness, Introspection, Emotional Navigation, Growth Mindset, and Gratitude—are explicitly taught, incorporated into all subject areas, and modeled by teachers and staff in their interactions with students and each other. A different trait is formally celebrated each month at an all-school Morning Meeting and anchors the curriculum for our Pre-K/5th grade and Kindergarten/6th grade Buddies Program.
Our Flourish Program traits build upon our Points of Pride, our character education program that began almost two decades ago and which continues to permeate our school culture. Our Points of Pride include Fairness, Trustworthiness, Caring, Responsibility, Respect, and Citizenship.
We draw from three curricula, as well as ongoing professional development, to prioritize mindful, social, and emotional learning.
Empowering Education’s Empowering Minds Program provides a framework for grade-specific, school-wide, mindfulness-based lessons in social and emotional skills. While social and emotional learning is always essential, we know that children are now facing additional stress, and even trauma, in light of the pandemic and exposed racial injustices.
Mindful Schools offers mindfulness for teachers, staff, and students. Several of our faculty and administrators have trained with Mindful Schools to develop their own mindfulness practice and learn how to best share mindfulness with students.
Responsive Classroom has long been a part of Echo Horizon’s culture of kindness and community. Responsive Classroom offers a philosophy and practices for creating safe, joyful, and engaging learning environments. All of our teachers are trained in Responsive Classroom techniques, which provide teachers with a set of tools to guide behavior, build community, foster academic engagement, and further inclusion.