SEL Day 2024

Lower School Raises Awareness About Social-Emotional Learning 

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

That was one of several quotes read over the Lower School intercom by a school counselor on Friday, March 8 as the K-6 team participated in SEL Day 2024: Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Leaders. The quotes were intended to spark conversations in classrooms and help spread the word about the importance and impact of SEL—which stands for social-emotional learning.

SEL Day is a global, grassroots campaign that began in 2020 to support children’s academic recovery, mental health and well-being.  SEL is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. Studies show it has a positive impact on students—from improved social-emotional skills, well-being, and behavior to improved academic outcomes—and these results can last long after you’re done with school. In fact, SEL competencies are critically important for long-term success in today’s economy.

“Our aim is to create places and spaces for our students to connect with each other and learn how to engage in conversations with students who are different from them,” said Courtney DeStefano, Dean of Students. “We believe that strengthening our SEL practices within the school setting will give students the life skills necessary to become the leaders of tomorrow and promote collectiveness as a whole.”

Teachers and staff were encouraged to take as many actions as possible throughout the day to showcase, promote, advocate, and support SEL in the Atlantis School Community.

  • Teachers engaged students in various play-based learning activities. For instance, students identified their emotions using the colors on a stop light—green is good, yellow is not so good, and red means break or attention.
  • Students practiced breathing techniques with the help of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce-inspired breathing charts—this teaches students about self-awareness.

Breathing charts drew inspiration from Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift


  • Courtney DeStefano smiles with students in front of SEL tree

    Classes took walks to observe SEL Day displays. A Skills Tree in the Student Center had SEL skills written on the leaves, a Friendship Bracelet bulletin board in the Annex featured SEL quotes, and there were Taylor Swift song lyrics on the hallway walls.An SEL digital bookshelf allowed teachers to access SEL titles, read alouds, lesson plans and games.

  • Students and staff were encouraged to wear kindness-themed tees or shirts with positive sayings.
  • Families submitted SEL-inspired artwork for an art contest. About 75 pieces of art were sent in. The art was displayed in the Student Center during K-6 lunches and voted on by students and staff!

Organizations participating in SEL Day had the opportunity to earn badges by completing activities that showcase, promote, advocate and support SEL in their local school, organization and community. Atlantis was put on the International Leadership Board for its SEL activities.

“I’m immensely grateful that Atlantis was a part of this global movement,” DeStefano said. “It was heartwarming to see the day unfold. It was well-received by students and I am excited to be a part of their SEL journey.”







First Place entry in family SEL art contest



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