By Sue Amacker, director of Support Services and school counselor, and Kate McElvaney, director of Educational Advancement.
About Sue Amacker, MA, LPC, NCC:
Sue has been in the field of education for over 25 years as a teacher, counselor, and administrator at High Meadows School working to help children and families thrive. Sue is the Director of Support Services and School Counselor at High Meadows School, a school recognized for progressive education. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice, a Nationally Certified Counselor, Positive Discipline Parent Trainer, and a Certified Daring Way facilitator.
About Kate McElvaney:
Kate is the Director of Educational Advancement at High Meadows School, an independent progressive school in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, where she coordinates the school’s International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. She is also the Director of the High Meadows Center for Progressive Learning which aims to cultivate and promote deeper understanding of progressive practice through first-hand experiences for the community, including speakers, film screenings, parent education and teacher professional development. Her 18 years in education has taught her there is always something more to learn and different perspectives to understand.
About High Meadows School:
High Meadows School is an independent, progressive school in Roswell, GA for students in preschool through eighth grade. Established in 1973, the community celebrates and perpetuates each individual’s quest for knowledge and skill, sense of wonder, and connection to the natural environment. We empower each to be a compassionate, responsible, and active global citizen.
The practice of mindfulness has become incredibly popular in schools. Mindfulness works by creating an environment for learning and allowing for whole-child development of skills such as self-regulation, focus, and empathy. Many schools also include a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programme to assist teachers in creating a positive classroom environment and to communicate school-wide behavior expectations. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL programs should support the development of five key skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.