Social Development

Social Development at Villa

For children with learning disabilities, social skills can often be a challenge as well. How to start a conversation. The importance of looking someone in the eye. How to stay on topic. An appropriate response to a conversation or request.

At Villa Maria, our social development curriculum encourages more productive and positive interactions with others – through a comprehensive character education program as well as opportunities to practice and learn social-emotional skills. Whether a school-wide character theme, a small-group discussion about appropriate behavior, or one of countless teachable moments throughout the school day, our students are learning respect, cooperation and positive social engagement each and every day.

To ensure that the emotional needs of students are met, Villa Maria employs two counselors, and every student receives social skills classes. The social development curriculum supports and encourages more productive and positive interactions with others. It has two components, character education and development of social-emotional skills.

Villa Maria provides a structured environment that allows the opportunity to practice and learn social-emotional skills. Students in kindergarten through ninth grade meet weekly in a group setting to learn targeted behaviors or skills that are reinforced throughout the school day. The skill selected will vary by the age and needs of each group. Students learn to express feelings in a safe and acceptable manner, and demonstrate positive interpersonal communication skills, to increase social and emotional competence, and to strengthen problem solving and conflict resolution strategies.

Our students learn best through active involvement and engagement with materials and people in their environment. Each skill or behavior is discussed, modeled, practiced and role-played, then monitored with feedback provided during the school day. Students are prompted and coached in different settings and circumstances to increase the likelihood of generalization of the skill or behavior beyond the classroom.

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