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District Team Attends Social Emotional Learning Conference

A positive school climate leads to increased academic success. Creating that climate is at the heart of Social Emotional Learning, a rapidly growing movement in the field of education. Ten Hendrick Hudson administrators, teachers, social workers and psychologists had the opportunity to delve into SEL research and practice at the Social and Emotional Learning Regional Conference at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES on December 7.

During the conference, participants had the opportunity to hear from SEL experts and explore emerging and best practices. Through breakout sessions and informal “table talks,” they were able to learn from one another’s successes and challenges.

According to keynote speaker Linda Lantieri, a founding member of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, students cannot learn without managing their emotions. “We need to create a positive climate and culture in the classroom for all members of our learning communities,” she said.

The conference’s breakout sessions covered topics such as Using Mindfulness to Reduce Stress and Enhance Your Teaching Environment; Adding Empathy to STEAM Education; and Teaching Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Compassion.

Blue Mountain Middle School psychologist Rick Brodsky and social workers Diane Burns-Dobson and Stefanie Westrick presented a session titled, “Implementing a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program at the Secondary Level.”

The district has successfully implemented DBT in the middle and high school with training from Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants (CBC) an internationally recognized evidence-based center providing clinical and wellness services. CBC’s training has enabled district staff to lead DBT skills groups, engage in individual DBT sessions and provide feedback to teachers and parents. “DBT shows more promise than any other social-emotional intervention program we have seen,” Dr. Brodsky said. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Hendrick Hudson School District personnel who attended the conference were School Psychologist Heather Wynne, School Social Worker Stefanie Westrick, Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services Lisa Schuchman, Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction Margaret Ruller, School Social Worker Lisa Richmond, Teacher Cynthia Neff, FWS Principal Cynthia Kramer, HHHS Principal Anthony Giovinazzi, Social Worker Diane Burns-Dobson, and School Psychologist Rick Brodsky.

Click here to listen to a Superintendent's audio interview with Dr. Brodsky on the topic of DBT being successfully implemented in the Hendrick Hudson School District:

Dr. Rick Brodsky discusses district's use of DBT.


 Hen Hud team at SEL conference at BOCES

Hen Hud presentation on DBT during SEL conference at BOCES