Social-Emotional Learning at RePublic

This year, RePublic Schools has taken on the important work of prioritizing social-emotional learning. We know that the success of our scholars goes beyond the classroom; success means supporting our scholars to be the best versions of themselves as they tackle the ever-changing, ever-challenging world around them. They should not only be equipped to take risks and show grit on difficult math problems, but they must be equipped to take risks and show grit when repairing a relationship with a teammate.

Liberty Collegiate Academy has led the charge, partnering this school year with Valor Collegiate Academies to launch Compass. Valor has provided the support, training, and coaching necessary to support Liberty in launching this program. Compass has been a critical part of Valor’s school design and is currently in its first year of scaling the program to other successful charter networks including RePublic, Summit Schools, and Achievement First. This partnership has been critical to the success of circle and is a testament to sharing innovative practices to ensure all students, in all schools, have access to a quality, well-rounded education.

Every week scholars engage with the two most fundamental pieces of Compass: social-emotional learning curriculum and circle. Students experience compass by engaging in a number of identity-exploration exercises with the support of their mentor teacher. They then come to circle with their advisory once per week to share this work and receive resonance and appreciations from teammates. This two-fold approach allows for both individual reflection and intentional relationship building with scholars.

I’ve noticed students feeling welcomed and supported by other students they didn’t think even noticed them. I’ve also noticed my quieter students begin to burst out of their shell and really start to find their place in our classroom community. It’s so sweet to see my girls support each other in circle, but it’s even more rewarding to see them use what they learn from the SEL curriculum outside of our circle daily. They are constantly appreciating the small things they do for each other and actually checking in with each other about the many things going on in their lives.
— Briana Leeper, EL Specialist, Liberty Collegiate
"At first it's really awkward. But now I really like it! I'm closer to my advisory now." - Jasmin Neely, 8th Grade LCA Scholar

"At first it's really awkward. But now I really like it! I'm closer to my advisory now." - Jasmin Neely, 8th Grade LCA Scholar

Simultaneously, faculty also engage with the Compass curriculum and share work with one another during weekly faculty circle. This circle provides an opportunity for faculty to learn more about one another on a deeper level, fostering more meaningful connections among staff.

“Faculty circle also allows us as a time to celebrate both the big and small wins with each other through appreciations and resonance. Just as we are moving forward with our students by leading and facilitating student circle, we as a staff are moving forward together by growing both professionally and emotionally during faculty circle.” - Amy Howard, 6th Grade Literacy Teacher, Liberty Collegiate Academy

RePublic Schools prides itself on being an academic powerhouse. As we reflect on our mission to “reimagine public education in the south” we know we must continually do more and do better for our scholars. Our adoption of the Compass social-emotional learning program is yet another testament to living out this mission. We know that reimagining public education for our scholars cannot be limited to academic success. It must also include creating an environment where scholars feel safe to explore and share their identities and relationships with others. They are incredible young people, and we are honored to support them as they learn to change the world.  

"I like circle because you can talk about what you're going through and who you appreciate ....and how others feel. If something is going on with you, you have someone to talk to. I learn things about people in my group every time." - Robbyn Black, 7th Grade LCA Scholar

"I like circle because you can talk about what you're going through and who you appreciate ....and how others feel. If something is going on with you, you have someone to talk to. I learn things about people in my group every time." - Robbyn Black, 7th Grade LCA Scholar