Local Principal Showcases Program Implemented Locally Through Lilly Grant


CONTACT:         CINDY MILLER  cmmiller@mccsc.edu   812.330.7700 x53010

DATE:               September 9, 2019

(Bloomington, IN) -- Educators at the Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) are integrating programs to place a focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with the help of a Lilly Counseling Implementation Grant. The $1.1 million grant was awarded to MCCSC for four years to focus on social and emotional learning.

The program is being implemented in phases, according to Amy Morwick, Social and Emotional Learning Coordinator for MCCSC. The program is designed as a multi-tiered system of support: 

(Tier 1) Curriculum introduced universally for all of our students.

(Tier 2) Because of those efforts implemented in the classroom, our Student Service Specialists will be able to provide more targeted supports for children who may be in greater need (small groups, lunch buddies, etc.)

(Tier 3) Efforts which involve community mental health partnerships and more individualized care can happen for our students who may be in the most need.

“Research has shown that one minute invested in social and emotional learning training equates to eleven minutes gained in academic time in the classroom,” said Morwick. “By giving teachers and students tools to be able to talk about and navigate these important topics, we believe we are promoting healthy habits inside and outside the classroom.”

SEL Principal Champions SEL at School and Around the State

Eric Gilpin is the Batchelor Middle School Principal, as well as the Vice President of the Indiana Association of School Principals. This fall, he will be part of an SEL showcase in September, which will share with other teachers and administrators the practices of SEL programs and how they can be integrated into a school’s culture.

“Kids come to school from all backgrounds, and they can bring with them the stresses which can adversely affect their ability to focus and fully experience what is happening in the classroom,” he said. “This can manifest itself in behavior issues such as fighting or withdrawing or escalating a situation which could land them in my office,” he added. 

To address this, Gilpin, along with a group of teachers have pulled together lessons and resources for students.

One such resource for students is the reset room, a place where students can excuse themselves from class for up to ten minutes, to be able to go to a quiet place with a variety of tools to reset their emotions. Some of the items in the room include dimmed lighting, textural objects, books and an area to stretch and move about.

“We even have a paper shredder where kids can come in and write something that is bothering them, and then shred it,” said Gilpin. “Some kids need to express themselves in different ways, and just going through the exercise of writing down what’s on their mind, and shredding it is enough to get them reset and then back in the classroom,” he added.

According to the Collaborative of Academic Social and Emotional Learning, socially and emotionally competent children and youth are skilled in five core areas:

  • They are self-aware.
  • They are able to regulate their emotions. 
  • They are socially aware. 
  • They have good relationship skills. 
  • They demonstrate responsible decision-making at school, at home, and in the community. 

Gilpin said his goal is to give students enough tools in their toolbox so that they can find ways to deal with the challenges they face and continue to be successful at school.  For more information about the SEL programs at MCCSC, please see this SEL Spotlight video.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) serves nearly 11,000 students from diverse populations in 23 schools. MCCSC is a leader in STEM and EARTH curricula, encompasses a Performing Arts Academy, International Baccalaureate schools, Dual Immersion programs, multiple Career Pathways, a Career Center, as well as numerous College Credit and Advanced Placement opportunities to prepare students for college and career readiness. Our commitment, as we educate tomorrow’s leaders, is to Engage, Empower, and Educate all students in a world-class learning environment empowering them to maximize their educational success in becoming productive, responsible global citizens. For more information about fees and information for the 2019-2020 school year, please visit www.mccsc.edu.