January 7, 2019

3 Ways to Support Students’ Social-Emotional Health in the New Year

Kick off the new year by revisiting and refreshing the policies and practices that impact students' social-emotional well-being at school.

The beginning of a new year offers ample opportunity to set intentions and goals for a healthy year ahead. This year, take action to support students in their social-emotional development by creating learning environments that support the whole child. 


3 ways to support students’ social-emotional health at your school: 


1. Get involved in your school’s Wellness Committee 

As a part of the wellness committee, you’ll help establish health goals and wellness policies for your school or program that directly impact the well-being of students and staff. A strong wellness policy is one which integrates aspects of social-emotional health and learning into school practices and procedures to create a happier, healthier learning environment. Don’t have a wellness committee at your school or program site? Start one using our Model Wellness Policy as a guide. 


2. Look for learning opportunities in unexpected places 

The entire school environment offers opportunities to support students’ social-emotional well-being. In fact, non-traditional learning environments—such as the playground, cafeteria, and afterschool programs—are the perfect settings to foster social-emotional development. Consider these 7 unexpected places where learning happens to create a foundation for student success.  


3. Foster healthy relationships between adults and students at recess 

Students who have healthy relationships with adults are less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors and are more likely to experience feelings associated with social-emotional well-being. Create meaningful connection at recess through physical activity that supports the health and well-being of students and staff alike.  


Learn more about social-emotional health and development on Tuesday, Jan. 15 beginning at 9:00 AM ET when The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development releases its final report, From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope. Register here to watch the livestream.