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Social-Emotional Learning Priorities

From Superintendent Addison Davis:

Following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, our state has recognized the need to more aggressively address mental health concerns of our students and our school communities.  As such, it is critical that our focus on “mental health” be recognized as a prevention level of service. This means that by increasing the mental health literacy of our faculty and staff, and equipping our students with positive life skills, we increase healthy protective factors that can ultimately prevent or lessen many mental health issues. Prevention involves strengthening one’s ability to resist and avoid adverse situations and consequences. This is best achieved by engaging our students in social-emotional learning (SEL), so that they in turn can be engaged in academic skills and critical thinking. SEL is the process through which children understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Research continuously highlights the impact SEL has on maximizing student success and engagement.

Clay County District Schools is focused on developing the whole child and recognizes the need for teaching our students essential life skills that ultimately enable them to engage in rigorous learning opportunities. In fact, our own Florida Standards includes what some might call "soft skills;" non-academic benchmarks yet critically important to success in a 21st century society. We aim to accomplish this through establishing SEL priorities to inform our instructional practices that complement and enhance our academic standards of achievement. We believe prioritizing the SEL objectives of wellness, connectedness, and safety will contribute to the promotion of long term development and success in our students. Our focus now and through the 2019-20 academic year will be:


Teaching and fostering within students a sense of wellness is a dynamic process that promotes healthy habits and that teach and promote physical, emotional, and psychological health.  Encouraging change and growth in these multiple dimensions enables decision making, goal setting, and accountability for future success.


Enhancing and modeling a sense of connectedness promotes and enables classroom learning by improving engagement and self-efficacy.  Students who have the knowledge, attitude, and interpersonal skills that reflect belonging and are able to understand and respect themselves and others. 


Creating a sense of safety ensures that students experience a supportive environment in which they can learn and grow.  Students who experience a climate of safety and respect are encouraged to grow academically, as well as establish their own understanding of safety and survival skills. 

Clay County District Schools will continue to uphold high academic achievement standards while also serving and promoting the growth of the whole child.  Our students will be given meaningful learning opportunities throughout K-12 that will enhance their sense of wellness, connectedness, and safety.  These objectives will be provided to students at every level of need and at varying degrees of engagement. Programs and initiatives will be supported on a district wide basis, as well as on an individual, age-appropriate level per school. The office of Climate and Culture will work closely with all district departments and schools over the next 15 months to support initiatives and activities that truly Elevate Clay! Together…we make a difference!

Click here for the SEL Priorites document pictured below.

Social-Emotional Learning Priorites