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Principal’s Corner: Using Second Step program at Sibley

Principal’s Corner by Nicky Severtson


We all know this is a trying time for everyone, but the excitement and energy at Sibley Elementary remains high and invigorating. We have been given the opportunity to think differently, overcome challenges and shine as we navigate through the 2020-21 school year in a safe, supportive and collaborative environment for all students and staff as we attend school in person. This is such an exciting time!

It is important that we ensure a rigorous and relevant classroom experience that focuses on developing our students both academically and socially. While we know the work we do is a lot about academics, we have placed a large focus on social-emotional learning this year as well. Our elementary schools use a research-based program titled Second Step that provides staff and students with social-emotional skill building tools to equip students to excel, both in school and in life outside of school. Teaching skills of self-management, relationship building, cooperation and conflict resolution are necessary skills for success.

Nicky Severtson

Students are encouraged to show skills they are currently learning in their social-emotional lessons that our school counselor or classroom teacher have provided. These skills are also being incorporated in our morning announcements. The Second Step lessons correspond with our school-wide “Tiger Pride” which focuses on safety, respect and responsibility. Students are recognized and honored for showing Tiger Pride.  We also have monthly assemblies to kick off the social-emotional topic that will be taught for that month. This year, however, our school-wide assemblies will be done virtually by Google Meets while students are in their classrooms.

Every day, I look forward to greeting students, parents and staff as we navigate through a year filled with learning, collaboration and building relationships, keeping in mind our Sibley vision of growing together, every learner, every day.

Nicky Severtson is the principal of Sibley Elementary School.