Social-Emotional Learning

Academic Life

Social-Emotional Learning

School Counselor

My name is Mandy Ziolkowski. I’m currently working toward my certification as a school counselor and am a licensed teacher of English Language Arts for grades 6-12. My past experiences as a middle school teacher, daycare director, and after-school staff member have prepared me well to work with students of all ages. As a school counselor, I will connect with the students of St. John the Baptist, and integrate faith-focused social-emotional learning that will help them in all aspects of their lives. I will act as an advocate for all students, working with them at their individual starting points, and encouraging their overall growth and success.

Direct Services for Students

  • Instruction: Provide monthly school counseling lessons with each grade level classroom on topics such as conflict resolution, coping strategies, growth mindset, and goal-setting
  • Intervention: working with students in individual or small group settings in order to develop critical life skills; providing short-term, solution-focused counseling to support students through difficult situations; supporting students with individualized learning plans

Indirect Services for Students

  • Consultation: sharing strategies supporting student achievement with parents, teachers, other educators, and community organizations
  • Collaboration: working with parents, other professionals, and the community to support student achievement  

It is through the delivery of these services that I am able to appropriately support our students and foster each child’s academic and social-emotional development while also promoting our Catholic values. 

What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an essential aspect of education and human development. SEL is the process of acquiring necessary social and emotional skills for everyday success. There are five major, interrelated areas: 1) self-awareness, 2) self-management, 3) social awareness, 4) relationship skills, and 5) responsible decision-making. Each of these domains encompass a variety of skills that are necessary for children’s success in all aspects of life including intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. 

How does SJB support SEL?

At St. John the Baptist School, we support social and emotional learning (SEL) not only during explicit instruction in the classroom but within all aspects of the school day. Our staff incorporates teaching practices such as cooperative learning and project-based learning, facilitates the integration of SEL and academic curriculum, and fosters a healthy school climate where all individuals feel respected, supported, and engaged. We believe that when we intertwine SEL in our daily work, we are educating the whole child and providing him or her with the skills needed for academic success in the classroom and beyond. This work allows us to create a safe and positive school environment that empowers students to thrive and serve others in the community as Disciples of Christ. 

Friendzy Program

St. John the Baptist Catholic School utilizes a comprehensive, evidence-based social-emotional learning program called Friendzy. This program is uniquely Christian and heavily utilizes scripture as its foundation for instruction.

The Friendzy program uses an evidence-based approach for teaching and learning so teachers, counselors, and school administration can provide SEL support to students and families all year long—with in-person, distance, or hybrid learning. This program is endorsed by the National Catholic Education Association.

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