Metro Schools Spend $750,000 On Addressing Student's Emotional Needs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Local districts have responded to the Connecticut school shooting by requesting more officers in schools. Some lawmakers say the answer is to allow administrators to carry concealed weapons.
But Metro Schools are using a $750,000 grant to address student's emotional needs, in hopes that they would never consider causing such devastation.
A student cannot go through their day at J. E. Moss Elementary School without someone checking on them.
"You can't teach a child that you don't know," third grade teacher Shannon Floyd explained.
Each day starts with a morning meeting; a fun way for teachers to check-in and a forum for students to say what's on their mind.
"It might make people know more about you," third grader Alex Calderon said.
Most times it's light hearted, but sometimes things are more serious.
"Inside of them they have…something they don't want to share," Calderon continues, "but at morning meeting they can share…that."
The rapport between the students and adults has been established, letting them know school is a safe place. The various new programs implemented are meant to keep it that way.
"I've had...some major situations addressed during the first semester just because children felt comfortable talking to adults," Principal Carlos Comer said.
"If we know more about [a student] then hopefully we can keep [them] on the right track to make good decisions and to be a good student overall," Floyd said.
It's formally called social emotional learning. What it's meant to do is make sure no child feels isolated and falls through the cracks. Metro Schools used the grant money to implement similar programs across the district.
"I think if all students are doing it then we're learning more about each other to the point that you feel like I like I don't want to hurt this person," Floyd explained.
It is a simple, in-expensive concept administrators say is working. Since implementing this program at the beginning of the school year, educators at Moss Elementary say students are more open with them and they're having fewer discipline problems.
The $750,000 is being dispersed over three years. A large portion of the money will be used for professional development.