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2-16-18 — Weekly Activity Helps Build Character at Heritage

Feb. 16, 2018 ~ Collaboration and character are two core characteristics of Heritage Elementary. Wednesday mornings provide an opportunity for Heritage staff to collaborate with their colleagues while students build character traits and enhance their social and emotional learning comprehension. For 15 minutes each week, students meet to discuss character traits and social situations and how to apply them in real-life interactions. Kindergartners through second-graders meet one week, followed by third- through fifth-graders the next. During this time, staff members work with peers regarding student learning and engagement concepts.

First debuting with the 2016-17 school year, Character Work Wednesdays was initially discussed as part of a school improvement plan during a past leadership summit. The goal was to develop a program to help students deal with social situations that occur at school as well as how to emotionally deal with issues that arise throughout the day, said Heritage Principal Scott McFarland.

“We wanted to give our students a toolbox of skills to utilize when trying to solve problems,” McFarland said. “This opportunity also gives teachers time to collaborate.

“Our goal was twofold; giving our students specific tools to help with the social/emotional side of learning and providing teachers time to work in their professional learning communities,” McFarland said. “It has proved to be successful in meeting those two goals and with the implementation of our Second Step program this year, we have seen an increase in student-friendly language being used to solve problems by our students.”