Secondary Level

A Look at SEL in Action in Needham - Secondary Level

SEL at the Middle School
The middle school years are associated with transition, the importance of peers, and identity search. SEL is key to helping these students develop the skills necessary to solve problems, deal with peer pressure, form positive learning habits, and self-manage.

  • Needham has integrated SEL into the health curriculum and has provided staff development around curriculum infusion and guided discipline. (See Competencies)
  • A new initiative at the Middle School is a comprehensive advisory program. The Coalition for Essential Schools provides research about the positive impact of advisory programs on personal growth as well as academic success for the middle school student.

SEL at the High School
As students prepare for adulthood and leaving home, it is critical that they develop the skills (see Competencies) to make good decisions, form positive relationships, and work collaboratively with others. Needham's SEL work at the High School includes a number of components:

  • Needham's Health and Physical Education courses provide direct SEL skill instruction including the Teenage Health Teaching Modules that provide skill instruction related to a number of important adolescent issues including drugs, alcohol, and depression.
  • Needham High School has implemented a homeroom mentor program as a structure where students can make connections with each other as well as with an adult. This initiative began in part because our students indicated in a survey that they missed having a trusting relationship with an adult at the High School.

Needham Student Behavior Data
To inform SEL efforts, Needham monitors trends in risky behaviors using the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey based on the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The middle school data has showed significant improvement trends as students who have received a continuum of SEL skill instruction have moved through the grades.

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