Before anything else, LiHigh School is a therapeutic school, which means that all of our students, along with developing their academic skills, also actively work on their social and emotional skills.
Each student, regardless of which program they’re in, has up to three therapeutic goals assigned to them. In some cases, the therapeutic goals are guided by the student’s IEP, but in other cases, they come from the student’s experiences here at LiHigh School.
All of our teachers are aware of each student’s therapeutic goals and work to embed the social-emotional learning into our academic classes.
The therapeutic goals also inform what kind of extracurricular programming the students are able to access. For example, to attend field trips and overnight camping trips, students must be able to, among other things, use respectful communication, respect others’ safety, and be responsive to redirection when they’re escalating towards aggression.
As explained by the Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning:
Research shows that [Social-Emotional Learning] not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students
A lot of schools are forced to ignore social-emotional learning in order to stay on target for “the test.” But here at LiHigh School, we realize that every student, regardless of their special education status or lack thereof, needs to be an active participant in their own holistic growth, and without a firm commitment to improving their social-emotional skills, they’ll have difficulty developing into the healthy and flourishing adult they’d like to become.
If you have any questions about how we integrate social-emotional learning into our day to day activities, we invite you give us a call at (802) 287-2411.