BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — School leaders from across the state spent the afternoon at Wedgewood Elementary School learning about social-emotional learning.

Social-emotional learning is a concept that has dropped discipline rates at Wedgewood by five percent compared to this time last year.

“We’re able to identify what the learning barrier is and we’re able to support the student holistically,” said Lashonda Davis, counselor, at Wedgewood Elementary.

Wedgewood school counselor Lashonda Davis says social-emotional learning plays a big factor in improving academic performance.

“We no longer have a timeout room here at Wedgewood Elementary, we have what we call a reset room,” said Davis. “So, instead of taking time out not only are you going to take time out, you’re going to come here to self-reflect, to reset.”

Superintendents from Jefferson and Caddo Parishes say it’s vital to learn from others in order to make them and the state exceed.

“It’s imperative for us to figure out what our best practices are and how it will affect our higher performing kids and most needed,” said James Gray, Superintendent of Schools, Jefferson Parish.

Part of social-emotional learning is to implement behavioral practices before facing discipline like going to the principal’s office.

“They learn how to support their emotions, they learn how to self-assess, they learn how to problem solve,” said Davis.

State leaders say this is the kind of education they will take back to their classrooms.

“Really excited to be part of this collaboration and continue to work with these large system leaders as we make an impact on a significant proportion of our children,” said Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Schools, Caddo Parish.

Wedgewood leaders expect discipline rates to drop by 10 percent next year by continuing to use
social-emotional learning.