PRESS RELEASE FROM SCHOOL-CONNECT

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Educator Meeting Needs Nationwide

Posted Sep 15, 2020

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Educator Meeting Needs Nationwide 
Online resource for all schools (grades 6-12) and families 


[PLANO, Texas, SEPTEMBER 16, 2020] 


In March 2020 schools and businesses closed abruptly. There was little warning and definitely no instruction manual about how to suddenly work and school from home. R. Keeth Matheny, a 20-year social emotional learning (SEL) educator and co-author, was quick to respond to what he knew could be a mental health crisis for many. Matheny started to outline the essential social-emotional supports he knew students would need. His son Truman, a Savannah School of Art & Design (SCAD) freshman, was home from film school and ready to dive into producing SEL support videos. Together, and with the help of School-Connect and other educators, Matheny and team created “EQ @ Home or School, a 35-lesson series including videos, handouts, and online games.  


“In a normal school year, teachers and counselors are interacting daily with students and able to notice indicators of anxiety, depression, or conflict,” Matheny reflects. “Now, many students and families who need help the most are isolated in their homes and not getting the social-emotional support they desperately need. It was obvious and imperative we act quickly to meet those needs.”  


Throughout the lessons the goal is clear—to have all students connected to a caring adult on campus, even and especially if they are schooling off campus. Each lesson includes “check-in” guides for educators to have meaningful conversations with their students in class or through videoconference. The SEL content of the lessons is important, but the connection to a caring adult and classmates is essential for meeting students’ needs amidst the isolation and anxiety of COVID-19 times. EQ @ Home or School lessons have already reached over 100,000 students nationwide and more everyday. 

Educators nationwide are raving about the materials. “This school year has tons of challenges but EQ @ Home or School has made it much easier to support students and build supportive relationships,” says Al Rendon, Assistant Principal at Indian Ridge Middle School in El Paso, Texas. “It gives students real-world opportunities to plan, problem-solve, and reflect as they grow their social-emotional skills. EQ @ Home or School strengthens relationships among family members, encouraging regular and ongoing conversations between parent and child." 


With severe school budget cuts and increased COVID-related expenses, Matheny and School-Connect know it is essential to keep EQ @ Home or School reasonably priced so that all schools can afford it. 


“I have learned there is almost unanimous support for giving students SEL supports,” said Matheny. “Teachers all over the country share our concerns for the emotional and mental health of students. Everyone wants to help and many just don’t know how.” All students benefit from a caring, supportive trauma-sensitive learning environment. But for students who have experienced trauma or live with ongoing toxic stress, trauma-informed care is imperative for learning and healing.

 
“The EQ @ Home or School option has saved my year,” says Tione Duncan, high school teacher in Washoe, Nevada. “Having the lessons helps me and my students manage all the emotions and stress in this exceedingly difficult year.” 


To help assist schools in creating a supportive leaning community, the first module of EQ @ Home or School, Returning to Learning with Trauma-Informed Supports, is free online. 


EQ @ Home or School is a yearly subscription-based curriculum for all schools (grades 6-12) and families. For more info see EQ @ Home or School at https://school-connect.net/digital-solution and/or contact Lisa Zimmerman at 512.590.0978 / [email protected]-connect.net