Nurturing Growth and Connection: Updates from Our Student Support Department

Excitement is in the air as our Student Support Department wraps up the month with two inspiring updates. From enriching professional development opportunities in Restorative Practices and PBIS to a transformative Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) program, our commitment to student well-being and holistic development shines through. Let’s delve into the details of these initiatives that have left a lasting impact on our educational community.

Restorative Practices and PBIS Professional Learning:

In collaboration with Santa Cruz COE, we recently hosted a dynamic professional learning opportunity focused on Integrating Restorative Practices to Strengthen PBIS Implementation. Educators and administrators from across the county participated in this enriching experience, led by Marci Zeppegno and Dr. Peter Stoll from Humboldt COE.

The one-day training sessions held in South Santa Cruz County and North Santa Cruz County, on November 28 and 29 respectively, drew a combined total of 68 dedicated individuals. This initiative, born out of a Tri-County collaboration, extended its reach to San Benito COE and Monterey COE, creating a ripple effect of knowledge and community building.

Throughout the day, participants engaged in insightful discussions, sharing experiences and reflecting on where Restorative Practices might find a home within their support frameworks. The community built during these sessions fosters a collaborative spirit that we believe will continue to thrive.

Looking ahead to January, we are excited to offer two optional debrief sessions focusing on inclusive discipline and student voice, further enhancing our commitment to creating an inclusive and empowering learning environment.

SEL Program: Growing Your HEART Skills:

Simultaneously, our Student Support Department facilitated a transformative SEL program designed to strengthen the social-emotional skills of educators. Twenty passionate educators from across the country participated in this eight-week course, guided by COE staff Suzanne Denham and Robyn McKeen, alongside the esteemed Dr. Lorea Martínez, an award-winning SEL expert and author.

Throughout the course, educators delved into Dr. Martínez’s “Growing Your HEART Skills” curriculum, exploring new tools and strategies to navigate daily challenges and interactions. The program aimed to deepen connections to self and others, fostering a sense of purpose and joy in teaching and leading effectively.

As we celebrate the successful completion of this program, we look forward to the participants sharing their newfound insights and applications with colleagues, creating a ripple effect of positive change in their professional contexts.

These updates from our Student Support Department reflect our ongoing commitment to providing meaningful and impactful learning experiences for educators and administrators. As we close the month, we look forward to the continued growth and positive influence these initiatives will have on our educational community, fostering a culture of collaboration, understanding, and well-being.