Diocesan News

School begins social-emotional learning program

LINCOLN – St. Patrick School in Lincoln is offering weekly lessons for all students in preschool through eighth grade in the area of social-emotional learning. 

The curriculum began Sept. 9, using the social-emotional learning program, Second Step, that ties in with everyday social skills students gain in the classroom, on the playground, and in social situations.  

“Social-emotional learning is the foundation for all students to feel secure in their ability to succeed in and out of the classroom,” said Kristine Placek, principal of St. Patrick School. “Trusting in themselves, and their peers, allows students to focus on their academic achievement by eliminating many of the social worries that plague our children today.” 

She added that Second Step Social-Emotional Learning has received exceptional reviews from educators who have noticed school wide improvement and seen even the most challenging students make progress in emotion management, situational awareness and academic achievement. 

The progam’s core tenets include learning how to listen with respect, develop empathy for others, manage one’s own challenging emotions, solve problems in a group setting, and to stand up to others who are disrupting a culture of kindness.

Mrs. Molly Cassiday, who has earned a master’s degree in school counseling, is leading the planning and teaching of the curriculum to the students. The teachers join their homeroom classes during the lessons in order to learn the program’s language and cues, so that they in turn can use it in the classroom.  

The 30-minute lessons will be offered to all 185 students at St. Patrick.  

“Having more than 30 new students in the school this year provides the perfect opportunity to provide a proven and sustainable curriculum to meet the student’s social-emotional needs,” Placek said. “St. Patrick School prides itself on being a true school-family and this curriculum will help to assist students in loving themselves and their neighbors as God has designed.”

Mrs. Cassiday summed up the purpose for implementing the Second Step program by adding, “It is our hope that through this program, we will be making large strides toward being a school community rooted in love and respect for others, as we are called to by God’s Word.”

St. Patrick School opened in 1916 and serves 185 students in pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade. The staff of 20 includes two priests and two Marian Sisters who assist/work with students. Mass is celebrated daily, the students participate in monthly confessions and adoration, and the school regularly celebrates feast days of the saints with activities and special events. 

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