Parents and Patrons,
Greetings. I hope your summer is going well. For the last 2 years, ACS has engaged its stakeholders through the strategic planning and school improvement process by giving a variety of surveys. One of the topics that has come up often is the district putting more effort and focus into the mental health and wellness of our students and staff. In addition, all districts in ESU17 are engaged together with addressing mental health and providing more resources and instruction to promote social emotional learning. This is part of our ongoing efforts related to MTSS (multi-tiered systems of support) that is aimed to address all aspects of our student’s learning, including academic and social emotional wellness.
Over the course of the 2021-22 school year, the teachers piloted different social emotional programs with the purpose of assisting with our mental health and wellness efforts. Further, the administration and MTSS lead team have included the board with various reports and committee work to make a decision to purchase the programs Second Step for K-8 and School Connect for 9-12 with federal ESSER III dollars. Perhaps you have seen our reports in the board materials and have heard our reports on KBRB radio open line regarding these efforts. These programs are meant to be short, 20 to 25 minutes lessons approximately once per week delivered by classroom teachers. ACS already does many things to address the social emotional wellness of our students. Second Step and School Connect help us to be more organized with that effort and provide teachers more tools and skills to address this topic as well.
There can be and is confusion out there that relates Social Emotional Behavioral Learning (SEL or SEBL) with Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). That is not what these programs are about. These programs are aimed to develop student resilience to personally deal with their emotions, problems, and work effectively with people. SEBL’s overall goal is to develop resilient young people who can effectively function in their personal lives, work place or otherwise.
Here is an official statement from Second Step regarding the claim SEBL programs are the new “CRT” or otherwise:
“Our Second Step programs do not have the foundational underpinnings associated with Critical Race Theory. As an organization, our mission is to foster the safety and well-being of every child through social-emotional learning and development. Our research-based programs are designed to help improve the social-emotional competence of children and youth.”
If you have any questions about these programs, please visit the information links below. You will see the website for each program in addition to other resources, especially the scope and sequence of topics that can be taught. We invite any stakeholder to contact their building principal to set up a time to view the materials if they wish. We are happy to provide that opportunity and answer any questions you may have.
The ongoing goal of ACS and the Board of Education is to maintain curriculum efforts that are consistent with the cultural ideals and wishes of our community and stakeholders.
Social Emotional Behavioral Learning Curriculum
K-8 Program: Second Step
Main website: https://www.secondstep.org/
Scope and sequence of topics: https://cfccdn.blob.core.windows.net/static/pdf/scope-sequence/second-step-k8-scope-sequence-full.pdf
What is Second Step?: https://www.secondstep.org/what-is-second-step
Social Emotional Learning Overview: https://www.secondstep.org/social-emotional-learning
Information for Families: https://www.secondstep.org/families
9-12 Program: School Connect 4.0
Main website: https://school-connect.net/
Scope and sequence of topics: https://school-connect.net/sc4-table-of-contents
Why School-Connect?: https://school-connect.net/research-evaluation
Thank you for taking the time to review this information. Again, if have any questions at all or would like to explore the materials, please contact your respective building Principal to set up an appointment. Both programs are online programs and the school with have our access and logins set up in the very near future.
Ainsworth Community Schools is accepting applications for 2 special education paras. This is a great opportunity to work closely with teachers and staff serving the educational needs of our students. Hours aligned with school day. Knowledge of or willingness to learn basic sign language preferred. The start date will be on or about August 8th.
Competitive salary and benefits package including single health insurance and retirement benefits. Pick up an application at the District Office on 3rd Street or via email. The positions are open until filled. Contact the office of the Supt at 402-387-2333 for more information.
"The Ainsworth Community Schools District is an equal opportunity employer (EOE)."
Please click here to download the Preparticipation Physical Form