In support of its Equity and Inclusion Action Plan, Shady Side Academy has announced a new partnership with The Social Institute (TSI), a national leader in curriculum designed to help students navigate the complex intersection of social-emotional health, social media and technology.
At a time when students spend many hours a day on digital devices, and cyberbullying and reputation-damaging posts run rampant, TSI offers a comprehensive curriculum for schools called #WinAtSocial that supports students, teachers, and families in the face of these challenges.
Reinforcing character strengths like empathy, integrity and teamwork, TSI inspires students to make positive social media choices and lead happier, healthier lives online. The program features an innovative, gamified learning platform informed by some of the top child psychologists and educational researchers in the country.
More specifically, TSI positions schools to:
- Foster positive peer influence among students around the complex social and emotional challenges they face regularly.
- Amplify students' ability to make smart, positive decisions with devices, social media, privacy settings, and more.
- Strengthen parents' and adults' understanding of student experiences on social media and technology and their ability to coach students through proactive, ongoing education.
- Generate conversations between students and trusted adults, and between students and their parents, around positive use of social media and technology.
Shady Side will officially begin working with The Social Institute in January 2021 to implement its #WinAtSocial curriculum for grades 5-12. Topics range from overcoming the fear of missing out on texts, apps, and time with friends to recognizing the science behind screen time and social media, all reinforcing TSI's seven Social Standards. Students will experience gamified lessons integrated into advisory, homeroom, health or wellness classes. Faculty can elect to receive additional professional development training from TSI. Parents see what the students are learning and receive ongoing tech tools, guidelines, and advice to help their children navigate social media, video games, and devices.
Later this fall, Shady Side and The Social Institute will collaborate to host orientation webinars to provide SSA parents, students, and faculty a further introduction to TSI.
The TSI partnership support's one of the action steps in SSA's Equity and Inclusion Action Plan, in which SSA seeks to create more inclusive school climate and culture by partnering with organizations that empower students to navigate social media and technology positively in support of healthy relationships, character development, and wellness.