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RSU18 Content

JHB implements full year guidance course

By Nancy Reynolds


The goal of JHB’s guidance program has been to reach more students in teaching social-emotional skills.  As part of our curriculum, our habits of mind and social skills targets are peppered throughout RSU 18’s student experiences. At JHB, administration met with Mrs. Bartley, our Licensed Social Worker, and made a plan to increase the number of exposures to the learning targets by teaching classroom social skills weekly for seven months during the school year.


Students commented on the weekly guidance classes, noting that they have been able to use a growth mindset to clear up arguments and misunderstandings quickly.  Additionally, staff can remind students of the language they have learned in guidance to help them express their feelings. Mrs. Bartley uses the Second Step Program, providing students with that language and many real scenarios to practice.  “It just helps us solve problems on our own and shows us a lot of options,” said one fifth grade boy.


Often Mrs. Bartley and JHB’s school nurse, Ms. Henyan, team up to teach students about the consequences of smoking and medicine safety.  The students commented, “Mrs. Bartley does stuff like that to help us see the things that are harmful to us so we can make better decisions for ourselves.  And she is really funny!”


Teachers have also found that the move to school year guidance has brought about improved behavior in students.  Additionally, office referrals have been reduced dramatically. Staff has noticed that when students have guidance all year compared to the six-week sessions there is more consistency and better behavior because the strategies are constantly being reviewed and practiced.

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