Gateway was recently recognized by the NoVo Foundation for its commitment to ensuring all students receive a robust social-emotional education in addition to a rigorous academic program with a generous $30,000 “SEL in Action” Grant. The award is offered to teachers, schools and districts with “the most inspiring, effective and innovative ideas” about how to spread and implement social emotional learning (SEL) in schools across the nation.
Specifically, the award recognizes Gateway’s revamped, schoolwide advisory curriculum that applies a SEL framework to understanding complex issues that face our communities, including racism, sexual harassment and assault, and repairing harm through restorative justice, with an emphasis on validating students’ experiences of oppression and encouraging students to use their voice for social justice. The ultimate goal is for all students to feel a sense of ownership over their learning, school culture, and develop respectful, trusting relationships with each other and adults.
The grant also recognizes how all Gateway teachers deliberately infuse their academic courses with opportunities to practice SEL skills like collaboration, self-advocacy, and responsible decision-making. Teachers receive professional development about how to explicitly teach SEL skills during the school day and build positive classroom cultures.
Gateway faculty also had the opportunity to attend the NoVo SEL In Action Convening in New Mexico this October, as an opportunity to connect with other grantees and share how their schools are approaching SEL.
“I literally can’t stop talking about it,” said Angelica Posadas, GHS’ Director of Counseling. “It was so well put together and everything resonated with our work. I was able to connect with such a diverse group of people who are doing amazing things. I love what we do at Gateway, but when you hear what people are doing at other schools, and vica versa, it's an incredible learning opportunity.”