FCPS introduces Social Emotional Learning activities during distance learning


Fiona Zheng

Looking at a computer, students collaborate on a partner assignment in an Astronomy class during the 2019-20 school year. Distance learning has made it harder for students to build and maintain relationships with their peers. Social Emotional Learning activities during Eighth Periods will attempt to address those gaps.

Christina Lu, Team Leader

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities will take up Eighth Period A blocks, rotating between Wednesday and Friday two times a month. This addition was made to all FCPS schools because of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, with the intent of increasing kindness and generosity among students, as well as reducing mental health problems.

Principal Dr. Ann Bonitatibus emphasizes that wellness matters. Working with Challenge Success has led her to examine how success is defined beyond schoolwork. 

“We cannot be fully ready to learn, nor can our minds cognitively process everything we see and hear, if our bodies are emotionally, physically, or psychologically stressed,” Bonitatibus said.

Bonitatibus looks forward to the Jefferson community connecting with each other on a more personal level and supporting each other through their triumphs and struggles. 

“At TJ we’re really great at thinking about things,” Bonitatibus said. “Now we need to understand how to feel and process those emotions in healthy ways.”