The Living in Community Program at SPS
The LINC curriculum is based on the public health model created by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). CASEL is a non-profit organization that assists pre-K-12 schools in integrating evidence-based social and emotional learning across their curricula.
Social and emotional learning is defined by CASEL as "the process by which students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions. At St. Paul's School, the LINC curriculum is taught in advising, counseling, and leadership training programs, as well as in the Chaplaincy and academic programs."The Five Core Social and Emotional Competencies
The LINC curriculum supports the development of five critical social and emotional competencies (and their associates skills) in all St. Paul's students. The competencies include: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and positive decision-making.Competency #1: Self-Awareness
Self-Awareness is the ability to accurately recognize one's emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one's strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
The skils associated with self-awareness include:
Competency #2: Self-Management
- developing capacity for self-reflection;
- identifying and labeling emotions;
- demonstrating compassion for self;
- identifying and cultivating one's strengths and positive qualities;
- recognizing the multi-faceted nature of identity.
Self-Management is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
The skills associated with self-management include:
Competency #3: Social Awareness
- monitoring and regulating feelings so that they aid, rather than impede, the handling of situations;
- establishing and maintaining a growth mindset;
- caring for and advocating on behalf of oneself.
Social Awareness is the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
The skills associated with social awareness include:
Competency #4: Relationship Skills
- identifying and understanding the thoughts and feelings of others;
- understanding that individual and group differences complement each other and make the world more interesting;
- applying critical analysis skills to media and social contexts;
- recognizing one’s own privilege and a commitment to leverage that privilege on behalf of others.
Relationships Skills is the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
The skills associated with relationship skills:
Competency #5: Responsible Decision-Making
- using verbal and nonverbal skills to express oneself and promote positive and effective exchanges with others;
- establishing and maintaining healthy and rewarding connections with diverse individuals and groups;
- achieving mutually satisfactory resolutions to conflict by addressing the needs of all concerned;
- effectively conveying and following through with one’s decision not to engage in unwanted, unsafe, unethical, or unlawful conduct.
Responsible Decision-Making is the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
The skills associated with responsible decision-making include:
The Components of Living in Community
- accurately perceiving situations in which a decision is to be made and assessing factors that might influence one’s response;
- recognizing and understanding one’s obligation to engage in ethical, safe, and legal behaviors;
- believing that others deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion and feeling motivated to contribute to the common good;
- generating, implementing, and evaluating positive and informed solutions to problems;
- identifying and accessing appropriate resources;
- identifying and intervening in unsafe, unkind, and/or illegal behaviors.
The Living in Community (LINC) program is comprised of an array of classes, programs, and experiences that target all SPS students. It includes two foundational courses for the Third- and Fourth-Form students, distinct all-Form and all-school meetings, LINC content-informed house meetings, Form-based Community Outreach Days, LINC Days, and an array of other opportunities and experiences for both faculty and students. Third-and Fourth-Form LINC Courses
All Third-Form students participate in a yearlong course that meets once a week. The primary focus is to create a safe space in which students can discuss important and sensitive issues in the presence of a trusted adult. Although critical content on a wide range of topics is delivered through the course, greater emphasis is placed on the development of students’ ability to explore and express thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. The course content
serves as the vehicle for developing skills and competencies that will aid students in learning from one’s self and one another, while also respecting and understanding diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
All Fourth-Form students participate in a LINC class for one term that meets three days per week. While the content areas are similar to those in the Third-Form, the Fourth-Form course
focuses more on the power of social norms and seeks to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to be critical consumers (and creators!) of the world around them.