St. Vrain Valley School District is currently piloting a new brain-based social-emotional curriculum called “In-Focus”, written by Tom McSheehy, a former teacher and licensed clinical social worker. It is considered a tier one intervention which uses daily repetition to get results. This curriculum will most likely be mandatory for all elementary schools in the district for the 2017-2018 school year and helps students do the following:
- Improve intellectual development
- Succeed academically
- Manage and express emotions positively
- Gain focus and improve attention
- Reduce stress and calm themselves
- Reduce bullying and impulsive behavior
- Elevate self-esteem and self-confidence
- Strengthen social skills
- Improve teamwork and collaboration
- Develop problem solving skills
This program uses ten to fifteen minute a day lessons that build on each other day after day. Background information and a script are provided for each lesson and lessons can be paraphrased to meet the needs of the teacher and/or classroom.
Lessons are designed to meet the needs of all three parts of the brain which are the brain stem (safety), the limbic system (emotions and motivation) and the cortex (thinking).
Thompson Valley School District did a pilot this past school year and used the DAP (Development Assets Profile) to gather data.