Students cite social and emotional learning as the primary area in which they need more from CPS (according to a Chicago Public Schools district-wide student survey). Ryan Banks Academy recognizes that many of the events that a society considers traumatic and disturbing, many of our students endure on a regular basis. This reality, compounded by the fact that most social workers serve multiple schools and are only able to reach the neediest students, means that many students who need regular, preventative counseling go without and their academics often suffer greatly as a result. In addition to providing world-class academic instruction, we believe in taking a holistic view of the child. If one area of a child’s life is neglected, all other areas will suffer. As such, Ryan Banks Academy will have a strong focus on social/emotional health. Attending to children’s social/emotional needs is crucial in order for them to achieve their highest potential. Therefore, treating individual students’ emotional health will be crucial in order for them to achieve academic success.
As a residential school serving a small student body, we will reverse this damaging trend by embedding into our daily schedule:
The provision of a mentor to each student to whom they can go to for any academic or personal need they might have
The provision of social/emotional support through the employment of full-time mental health professionals on staff
Time for a student-directed, residential coach-facilitated community discussion that will focus on the positive development of identity, attitude, behavior, emotional intelligence, and social skills
- An activity at the end of each day that helps cultivate a strong community bond