Sousa Elementary School Honored As A RULER Mentor School

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RULER Mentor Team. From the left; Jen Biblowitz, Meg Sheehan, Marisa Johnson, Suzy Potucek, Maria Buffolino and Jane Candido. (Contributed photo)

John Philip Sousa Elementary School has been chosen as one of six schools internationally to become a RULER Mentor school by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER Mentor schools were selected through a rigorous application process. Sousa Elementary School has been working with Dr. Marc Brackett, the Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and his team for the past seven years. Several members of Sousa’s RULER team have presented with Dr. Brackett at educational conferences.
RULER is a systemic approach to social emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER aims to infuse the principles of emotional intelligence into the culture of pre-K to 12 schools, informing how leaders lead, teachers teach, students learn and families support students. RULER, which stands for recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating emotions was implemented at Sousa Elementary School beginning in the 2016-17 school year.
Since its inception at Sousa, four key RULER tools were infused: school developed charters that spelled out how staff and students aspire to treat each other; a ‘mood meter’ that will help students and educators monitor how their emotions change throughout the day; meta-moment training, which utilizes specific strategies for dealing with strong emotional reactions; and a blueprint for managing conflict.
“RULER Mentor Schools are recognized for their expertise and their ingenuity with RULER implementation,” said Dr. Brackett. “These are schools who we would say have infused the principles of RULER, emotional intelligence and SEL into their DNA or immune system of their school.”
Meg Sheehan, Principal of Sousa Elementary, expressed that at Sousa, the evidence shows that RULER has enhanced academic performance, fostered better quality relationships, created a positive shift in school climate, result in fewer instances of bullying and aggressive behavior are seen.
“I am honored to be part of the RULER mentor team and commend all the staff members, students and families for their part in fostering RULER at Sousa,” said Principal Sheehan.
Sousa Elementary School is being recognized for demonstrating exemplary practices in training and facilitating the RULER approach to SEL. Sousa Elementary School has integrated SEL into their school culture and integrated these values to the core of our teaching and learning practices. It also recognizes Sousa Elementary School as a leader in the RULER community. They will be asked to open their doors to other schools and districts so they can experience what the RULER approach looks like, feels like, and sounds like. Sousa Elementary will also work closely with other schools in and out of Port Washington to be coaches for their implementation teams.
“We are incredibly proud of all our teachers and staff members who have embraced RULER,” said Jen Biblowitz, Sousa Elementary School Counselor and RULER Mentor Team Leader. “We are grateful to our families who have worked alongside us to build a RULER home-school connection. We are looking forward to continuing to learn and grow in this new mentor role.”
—Submitted by the Port Washington Public School District

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