All NYC schools should implement social-emotional learning


New York City Department of Transportation

The Editorial Board

The New York City Department of Education has started to implement Strong Resilient NYC, a program that helps teachers understand the social and emotional needs of students during the 2021-2022 school year. This effort for social-emotional learning offers students an opportunity to prioritize their mental health and should be in all New York City schools.

Strong Resilient NYC was a collaboration between the DOE and Urban Assembly, a school support agency that aims to improve public education. The program uses the Urban Assembly Resilient Scholars Portal, a guided intervention program, and DESSA, a questionnaire that asks teachers and students about the student’s social-emotional well-being.

Teachers reduce the use of traditional punishments, such as suspensions, and instead would address conflicts through emotion identification, conflict resolution and problem-solving, according to the DOE. Administrators for 3K-5th grade would also receive training and materials for executing activities that will teach children how to get along with others.

“Students are taught to become leaders in their lives, and adults are trained in the restorative framework, recognizing that outside factors often have significant impacts on a students’ day-to-day response and those responses must be addressed through multiple approaches,” according to the DOE.

Students are readjusting to learning during these troubling and traumatic times. Programs like Strong Resilient NYC recognize the hardships that kids have had to face during their formative years. By destigmatizing discussions of mental health in classrooms, children gain the skills to work through their problems from a young age.