The Social Emotional Learning Team Corner

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at Lafayette Elementary

Jillian Diesner, Counselor, Peace teacher (PK-K)
Linda Ryden, Peace Teacher (1st-5th)
Rashida Mosby, Counselor (1st-5th)
Sophia Carré, LICSW School Social Worker
Ashlee Adams, School Psychologist

We Are: Advocates for every student, certified, specially trained professionals, resources for supports and interventions, parents, staff and community partners

SAMM Kick-Off Assembly

We gathered students for a kick off assembly to talk about our school wide Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS) system and our use of SAMM. SAMM is the common language that we have adopted as a school to communicate our expectations of students throughout the building. Students are encouraged to Speak, Act, and Move mindfully throughout the school and are recognized in a variety of ways when they do. Our SAMM tickets are one common thread throughout the building with students earning SAMM tickets throughout the week with a chance to have their tickets entered into a drawing for prizes at the end of the week. We also talked about our school theme of #choosekind this school year inspired by the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio and all the ways we can choose and show kindness to each other during the year.

What is SAMM? 


 New Student Lunch Bunch

We met with our new to Lafayette students in a lunch bunch group in September for a game of “Lafayette Jeopardy” to see what they know and feel about their new school thus far. They scored BIG while also meeting other new students like themselves. We had a great time getting to know one another.

Meet the Counselor Class Visits

With Ms. Mosby being the “new counselor” to 1st graders, she visited 1st grade classrooms to share her many responsibilities as their school counselor.  The looks on student’s faces were priceless as they unpacked the counselor’s toolbox discovering Kleenex, puppets, the BIG ERASER, putty, band aids, calming balls, etc., all tools she needs to do her job. They talked about why a counselor has such tools and how the tools might be used.

International Day of Peace

The United Nations International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed across the world each year on and around September 21. Peace Day provides a powerful opportunity for students to consider the concept of peace and how they can be a peace builder in their world, as well as to express their visions for peace – personal, local and/or global. We again celebrated this day this year as a whole school. As a school community we wore peace and peace messaging T-shirts to school, wore “peace” in multiple languages stickers as kids tried to figure out the language, and engage in a school wide moment of mindfulness led by Ms. Ryden during AM announcements in which the entire school paused and practiced mindfulness together. In addition some students engaged in various peace related activities in their classrooms and students in grades 4-5 talked with Scott Worden, Director of Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace.  He talked with the 4th and 5th graders about his work in Afghanistan, what international peace and diplomacy programs are like and how people in Afghanistan work out local conflicts. It was a fascinating discussion and the kids were able to share what they have learned about peace and conflict resolution in Peace Class.  

Reign, Empowering Young Women as Leaders; Girls of Color Initiative

Last spring DCPS launched an exciting girl’s initiative, entitled Reign, Empowering Young Women as Leaders, to harness the strengths and assets of our girls of color across the district. This effort began with a series of listening sessions held all over the city where DCPS leaders heard directly from girls (including some of our Lafayette students) what they felt they needed in their school community to aid in their academic, social, and personal success as girls of color. Our Lafayette girls had a lot to say so we decided to start the work of hosting empowerment and leadership sessions with our girls in grades 3-5 last school year. This year schools in the district could apply for grant funding to host and facilitate Reign programs of their own and we secured funding for a program of our own!!! We are super excited to now take on this initiative with an even stronger backing!

-Our group this year will focus on identity and leadership. Our first Girls of Color session was a hit! Girls in grades 3-5 came together and watched a short Always campaign video clip entitled “Like a Girl” that touches on some of the biases attached to what girls do and how they do it. They then heard some general information about our plans as a group this year and began one of many self-identity and awareness projects; “the LOVE collage”. The Girls of Color group will meet on Day 6 during FLEX time.

Coming Soon:

-Banana Splits group (see Ms. Adams’ post for more information)
-Mix it Up at Lunch Day (October 31)

Want to know more about the SEL Team? Click here