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Open.Ed | Student Wellbeing at the Center with Denise Pope

Dr. Denise Pope joined us for a critical conversation about how to foster social-emotional learning in students as part of our Open.Ed speaker series at Avenues Silicon Valley. Bringing together Avenues leaders and the world’s foremost experts in education, Open.Ed is a global thought leadership series addressing key issues facing students, parents and educators today — with an eye toward their impact on the world of tomorrow.

Jeff Lippman, Avenues Silicon Valley head of school, welcomed Dr. Pope, who is a pioneer in social-emotional learning (SEL), a professor at Stanford University and co-founder of Challenge Success. Dr. Pope shared her expertise in an engaging conversation with parents and faculty, shedding light on the increasing challenges that young people face, whether it be systemic issues in our educational system or emotional issues derived from bullying, depression or anxiety. Dr. Pope's research responds to these problems with the confidence to challenge parents and traditional schools to create healthier environments and more motivated children by providing practical, research-based tools.

The session focused on how educators, students and families can create the right environment for optimal learning and personal growth — starting with a climate that is safe, joyful and conducive to a student’s natural curiosity. As Dr. Pope stated, “You have to think about balance and well-being as foundation to education”.

While schools have traditionally focused primarily on academic growth, Avenues recognizes the critical importance of SEL as a key to student success and wellbeing. Our teachers and staff support SEL by considering each child's experiences and interactions with their environment. We provide caring guidance to our students along their journey through our program to help them understand their environments and themselves better.