New SEL Program to Promote Growth


Coy Busick

Sophomore Brian Fullington looks at the banners made by each of the homerooms hanging outside of the cafeteria.

Mackenzie Gilliatt, Hillcrest Yearbook Editor

SEL, also known as social and emotional learning, is required by Indiana State law for students in school each year.

“It is Indiana Code 20-19-5 that requires schools to do this and it also leads to encompassing the Indiana SEL Competencies standards,” said Guidance Counselor Rachel Robinson.

Instead of paying a company to teach the students, Science Teacher Laurie Jo Andry and Media Teacher Heather Nichols have taken on the task of preparing SEL lessons and finding ways for students to make more connections and creating an SEL committee of teachers to develop ideas. Their main goal is to help make this fun for the students so they will participate but still make it educational.

“I know students have so much to deal with. We expect a lot of kids academically. Our hope is that some of these activities will help students to see their value, to help students understand they belong here at PHS, to help them set goals and achieve them while being happy and healthy,” said Andry.

There are seven competencies that SEL follows: personal growth, self advocacy, belonging, self efficacy, self regulation, problem solving, and interpersonal skills.

The goal of SEL is to teach students life skills and to build connections in the school.

The SEL committee will meet on early release days each month to plan. During these meetings they will plan activities for the coming weeks and to figure out projects that will reach the students and reach their goals.

Nichols has plenty of ideas and her main goal is to make it enjoyable for the students.

“Each homeroom creating their own escape room and switching with other classes to try and escape would be fun and it would give students an opportunity to work together,” said Nichols.

At the first school wide SEL meeting it was announced that the SEL activities would be a school competition between the grade levels. If a homeroom wins an activity it is shown on their banner and they earn points toward their class grade. At the end of the competition points will be added up and the grade level that won the most points gets a reward.

“This may be a huge fail but hopefully it’s a more personal look at SEL for Paoli students by Paoli teachers and staff,” said Nichols.