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School Wide Programs​

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Caring School Community

Caring School Community™ (CSC) is a modified version of a program formerly known as the Child Development Project. CSC is a multiyear school improvement program that involves all students in grades K–6. The program aims to promote core values, prosocial behavior, and a schoolwide feeling of community. The program consists of four elements originally developed for the Child Development Project: class meeting lessons, cross-age “buddies” programs, “homeside” activities, and schoolwide community. Class lessons provide teachers and students with a forum to get to know one another, discuss issues, identify and solve problems collaboratively, and make a range of decisions that affect classroom life. Cross-age buddies activities pair whole classes of older and younger students for academic and recreational activities that build caring cross-age relationships and create a schoolwide climate of trust. Homeside activities include short conversational activities that are sent home with students for them to do with parents or caregivers and then to discuss back in their classroom. The activities incorporate the families’ perspectives, cultures, and traditions, thereby promoting interpersonal understanding. Schoolwide community-building activities bring students, parents, and school staff together to create new school traditions.

Competent Kids, Caring Communities

Competent Kids, Caring Communities is designed to promote important life skills in students through an average of 35 separate sets of lessons for each year for kindergarten through fifth grade. Lessons follow a common structure, including an introduction to each that provides teachers with a research-based rationale. Opening questions are designed to motivate students and focus their attention. In addition to the classroom activities, one component promotes family-school collaboration, including sessions for families designed to be led by school or district leaders. Family sessions provide information on the social and emotional competencies the program is designed to promote. They focus on developing shared understanding and goals, joint decision making between schools and families, and positive school climate. The family-school collaboration component also includes activities to support new skills and concepts at home.

Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves’ unique approach to pedagogy, classroom resources, professional development, coaching, and support equips teachers with the tools and strategies they need to help students become thoughtful, responsible citizens. By integrating the study of history, literature, and human behavior with ethical decision making and innovative teaching strategies, our program enables secondary school teachers to promote students’ historical understanding, critical thinking, and social-emotional learning. As students explore the complexities of history, and make connections to current events, they reflect on the choices they confront today and consider how they can make a difference.

Getting Along Together

Getting Along Together is a program developed by the Success for All Foundation, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan that helps students build social and emotional skills (SEL) and apply them both in and out of the classroom.  Getting Along Together has a three-pronged focus: students learn thinking and cognitive skills, emotional management, as well as interpersonal and social skills.  Collectively, these skills and strategies create a peaceful school environment where students are empowered to manage their own behavior, decrease conflict, and increase receptivity to learning. Getting Along Together helps students with focus, memory, and self-control, as well as building empathy, friendship skills, cognition, and coping skills for common social problems.

Michigan Model for Health

Michigan Model for Health is a nationally recognized, comprehensive, evidence-based curriculum built around skills-based instruction.  This program was developed in coordination with the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


The MindUp program provides separate sets of lessons for three levels: prekindergarten through second grade; third through fifth grade; and sixth through eighth grade. Beginning after the third lesson, MindUp establishes core practices of deep breathing and attentive listening, which are then practiced several times a day throughout the school year. These practices are designed to enhance students’ self-awareness, focus attention, promote self-regulation, and reduce stress. In addition there are 15 structured lessons at each level that span four units. Each lesson provides an explanation of how the content and objective of the lesson is supported by brain research. The lessons also include a “getting ready” activity, a MindUp warm-up, and detailed instructions to the teacher on how to engage students and support their exploration and reflection on the topic. In addition, there are suggestions for creating an “optimistic classroom.” Throughout, the program works to promote generalization and support connections to academic instruction, and there are suggested lesson extensions to support social and emotional development, mathematics, physical education, health, science, literature, and journal writing.

Open Circle

The Open Circle program, for use in kindergarten through fifth grade, is designed to equip teachers with effective practices for creating a cooperative classroom community and establishing positive relationships and effective approaches to problem solving within the classroom. The program has, on average, 34 structured lessons each year that cover relationship building and communication skills, understanding and managing emotions, and problem solving. Lessons begin with a review of the previous lesson, introduce new concepts, develop and practice new skills, provide homework/extension activities, and suggest connections to literature. Supplementary lessons are also provided to support each core lesson. The Open Circle program also has a separate unit on bullying, as well as separate components to support school-wide implementation and family involvement. Open Circle provides information on “Key Cultural Factors” and “Dimensions of Difference and Similarity” to support implementation with diverse groups. The program provides frequent suggestions and reminders for teachers regarding cultural sensitivity and ethnic norms.

Raising Healthy Children

Raising Healthy Children, a school-wide approach designed for use with students in kindergarten through sixth grade, incorporates school, family, and individual programs to create a caring community of learners. The classroom component, Get-Alongs, includes eight classroom-based units with daily lessons and activities that span an eight-month period (approximately one unit per month). Academic integration strategies and recommended literature are also included. Teacher workshops on classroom management, instructional strategies, and social and emotional learning impact teacher practices in the classroom and throughout the school. School-wide implementation teams and ongoing coaching also facilitate this school-wide approach. Family involvement occurs through homework assignments that are part of the Get-Alongs units, family workshops, outreach, and other family activities.


Through full integration of social and emotional learning (SEL) and restorative practices, Restore360 helps all members of the school community to strengthen their connections with each other, create a more positive school climate; bolster their social and emotional skills and  cultural fluency; and develop skills to resolve conflicts and problems in a restorative way rather than a punitive way.

RULER approach

The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning is a school-wide approach designed for use in kindergarten through eighth grade to promote emotional literacy, which includes Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions (the “RULER” skills). RULER implementation involves systematic professional development for the adults involved in the education of children (school leaders, teachers, support staff, and families) so that emotions become central to learning, teaching, and parenting. In the first year, teachers learn and then teach the “anchors” of emotional literacy: four tools that were designed to help both adults and students to develop their RULER skills, self- and social awareness, empathy, and perspective-taking ability, as well as to foster a healthy emotional climate. Subsequently teachers learn how to integrate the approach into their standard curriculum and experience The Feeling Words Curriculum, a language-based emotional literacy program for students.

Tribes Learning Communities

Tribes Learning Communities aim to engage all members of the educational community — district and school administrators, teachers, family members, and community members — in ongoing, goal-oriented collaboration to create a caring and supportive environment that establishes positive expectations and promotes the active participation of all students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Tribes process includes four community strategies: attentive listening, appreciation/no put downs, the right to pass—the right to participate, and mutual respect. Key program structures and educational practices supported by the program include cooperative learning groups (comprised of three to six students) that work together throughout the entire school year and Community Circles, which provide opportunities for students to work together to solve classroom problems and build relationships. The curriculum also suggests a strategy for exploring academic content. Tribes materials incorporate a variety of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds throughout the text and images. Suggestions are provided for adaptation and sensitivity to students’ ethnic backgrounds and cultural beliefs, as well as tailoring language to meet the needs of English Language Learners and students from diverse backgrounds.