Learning with Heart
Children who feel loved and safe just learn better
We’re all about breaking down barriers and tearing down obstacles so that every child has the chance to shine. Our caring teachers and staff go beyond academics to also focus on the physical, social and emotional well-being of each student. We create meaningful relationships between kids and adults, we help instill healthy habits, and we help students build positive connections with staff and classmates.
Our focus on our students' emotional well-being makes Stillwater a leader among other school districts across the state.
Responsive Classroom: A daily program that focuses on social-emotional Learning (SEL) and academic success. This program priorities relationships and a sense of belonging for each student. Students begin each day being personally greeted and part of a Morning Meeting. They also end their day all together in a Closing Meeting.
Second Steps: A Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Program that gives students tools to succeed in and out of the classroom. It helps students develop emotional management skills, social skills and situational awareness, and academic achievement. It also includes an anti-bullying program teaching students to identify, prevent, and report bullying.
Support Staff: Student Advocates (licensed social workers), Health Services Staff, School Psychologists, licensed Mental Health Therapists
Learning Supports Teams: Teams of support staff, teachers, and administration meet to discuss students’ social, emotional and academic wellbeing. They develop plans of support for students as needed.
Green Rooms: Green Rooms provide students with a safe place to go when they are feeling anxious or struggling to manage their behaviors. Students go to the room, which is staffed by a trained paraprofessional, to calm their body and emotions, problem solve, find solutions, and develop a plan to return to their learning.
Developmental Designs: A daily advisory program for all students which helps them build and develop skills and engagement within three key areas of school life: social-emotional, relationship and community, and academic. Students meet within their advisory teams for the entire school year and have the same adult mentor.
WEB (Where Everyone Belongs): All 6th & 7th grade students are welcomed into the middle school through a transition program. This program trains mentors from the 8th Grade to be WEB Leaders. As positive role models, they mentor and guide grade students to have a successful transition and middle school experience. It is a year-long program with four components: High School Orientation, Academic Follow-Ups, Social Follow-Ups, Leader Initiated Contacts. It also serves as an anti-bullying program by training WEB Leaders to look for bullying behavior and stop it and report it.
Counselor Watch Program: Middle school counselors meet with elementary teachers to help get to know the students who are transitioning into the middle school. They also meet with students in classrooms to develop relationships and help students feel connected and prepared to enter middle school.
Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat: A day that inspires students to follow their hearts instead of the crowd, to identify personal fears and understand that everyone has them, commit to asking with courage to make your school a better place, and deepen relationships with classmates to break down social barriers.
Support Staff: School Counselors,, Health Services Staff, School Psychologists, licensed Mental Health Therapists
Student Supports Teams: Teams of support staff, teachers, and administration meet to discuss students’ social, emotional and academic wellbeing. They develop plans of support for students as needed.
Middle School Teams: Students are organized into grade level teams so that students have the same teachers. This allows for teachers to get to know students personally and meet regularly on their students’ social, emotional, and academic well-being
Wellness Center: Welcomes all students/ parents who wish to address issues dealing with mental health, chemical health, nutrition and health education. It is a collaborative effort reflecting the community’s commitment to support our youth’s well-being and is funded by the generous support of local agencies, foundations, and District 834.
AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination): AVID is an elective course for eighth graders that creates a positive peer group for students and develops a sense of hope for personal achievement through hard work and determination. It provides intensive support and strong student/teacher relationships.
Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR): High school students are supported by an evidence-based transition model focusing on the “whole” student. BARR consists of eight strategies helping students and teachers to build safe, strong, and trusting relationships while also developing essential assets for success in school and life. Students are in teams and share common teachers.
10th Grade Academy: Provides a personalized schedule for students in need of additional support in literacy and executive functioning skills. Teams of teachers work together with these students for part of the day.
Flex Time: All 9th grade students will have a flexible time period within their day to pursue their individual passions, develop post-secondary goals, and find a sense of belonging within the high school. The goals of Flex Time are: relationship building, academic equity, social/emotional well-being. Students work with an adult advocate and also their counselor to build a personalized learning plan.
Link Crew: All 9th grade students are welcomed into the high school through a transition program. This program trains mentors from the SAHS junior and senior classes to be Link Crew Leaders. As positive role models, they mentor and guide 9th grade students to have a successful transition and high school experience. It is a yearlong program with four components: High School Orientation, Academic Follow-Ups, Social Follow-Ups, Leader Initiated Contacts.
Support Staff: School Counselors, Health Services Staff, School Psychologists, licensed Mental Health Therapists
Student Supports Teams: Teams of support staff, teachers, and administration meet to discuss students’ social, emotional and academic well-being. They develop plans of support for students as needed.
Wellness Center: Welcomes all students/parents who wish to address issues dealing with mental health, chemical health, nutrition and health education. It is a collaborative effort reflecting the community’s commitment to support our youth’s well-being and is funded by the generous support of local agencies, foundations, and District 834.
AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination): AVID elective courses are offered by an application process to all students in grades 9-12. AVID creates a positive peer group for students and develops a sense of hope for personal achievement through hard work and determination. It provides intensive support and strong student/teacher relationships.
Skillstreaming: Teaching social skills, E-12 in a step by step process.
Zones of Regulation & The Social Times Curriculum & Incredible 5 Point Scale: Teaches emotional understanding, self-regulation, and coping skills for all learners from early childhood through 12th grade.
Mindup: Teaches students a variety of strategies to focus their attention, improve their self-regulation skills, build resilience to stress, and develop a positive mind-set in both school and life.*
School Connect: Teaches high school students social, emotional, behavioral and life skills to generalize in life and in the community workplace as well as into adulthood.
*Accredited programming through CASEL, Collaboration for Academic, Social, Emotional Learning
Our Wellness Policy focuses on doing what we know is best for kids. It's all about:
- Getting kids moving during the day
- Providing nutritious meals, snacks and concessions
- Creating safer environments for kids with severe food allergies, medical conditions or other dietary restrictions
- Making it easier to be active and healthy beyond the school day
- Helping to create smarter, happier kids and healthier communities.
- Celebrating birthdays in fun and memorable ways that make kids feel valued and loved
- Making special events in the classroom safe and enjoyable for all with creative celebrations that don’t include food
- Rewarding students for academic performance or good behavior with special privileges or activities
- Working with Nutrition Services to provide healthy and safe options for food-based learning experiences in the classroom
- Providing more nutritious options - like yogurt parfaits, fruits and veggies, juices - at concession stands
- Promoting healthier lifestyles while fundraising - with things like Fun Walk/Runs or dances
Celebrating with cupcakes, candy and excess sugar that makes it harder for kids to concentrate and learn
- Dealing with food allergies, dietary requirements and medical conditions that prevent some kids from participating
- Handing out candy and sugary treats that make it harder for kids to focus in class
- Bringing food from home for classroom projects that may contain allergens or food-borne illnesses
- Offering only sugary drinks, candy and cookies at sporting events and other activities
- Selling candy bars, doughnuts, cookie dough and other unhealthy foods to raise money
Birthdays are an important opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate our students. It’s also an opportunity to help them develop healthy lifestyles that ensure they have many more happy birthdays!
We want our students to feel valued and loved on their special day, and we can do that in many fun and memorable ways that do not involve sugary treats. Teachers at each school are working to determine how best to celebrate in their classroom. Here are a few creative suggestions:
- Make a crown, badge or sign for the birthday child.
- Turn on some music and dance!
- Let the child be the teacher’s assistant for the day.
- Provide special time with a principal, parent or other adult, such as eating lunch together.
- Have the child bring in something for show and tell.
- Let the child pick an active game for gym class or recess.
- Let the child choose a book and read it aloud to the class.Have the class work out to a fun exercise video.
- Play Simon Says or other favorite game.
Food is an important way for many cultures to celebrate special events, but did you know the typical classroom party includes as many as 500 extra calories? Check out our Sweet Day video (based on a true story from within our district) to see just how much extra sugar our students consume during special events.
Here are a few ideas of ways you might celebrate without food:
- Instead of candy hand out stickers, tattoos, plastic spiders and other small toys.
- Have a parade or costume contest.
- Do the Monster Mash or provide additional play time throughout the day.
- Decorate pumpkins.
- Do a class service project (collect food for Valley Outreach).
- Create a garland of gratitude using paper leaves with handwritten notes.
- Make clay turkey candle holders.
- Decorate the classroom with snowflakes and snowmen.
- Make snow globes out of baby food jars.
- Go sledding or ice skating.
- Create a Valentine card holder.
- Have students write positive comments about classmates and pass them out.
- Make greeting cards to give to nursing home residents.
End of School
- Field day
- School assembly
- Class field trip
A little bit of movement and exercise can go a long way to help boost a student’s brain power. Studies show that active students actually have bigger brains - especially one part, the basal ganglia, which helps them pay attention.
Activity can also improve a child’s ability to solve complex problems. Here are some ways we get kids moving in the classroom so they can focus on learning. We use videos, games and activities to get kids moving and practicing moments of mindfulness. Check out these sites: