Please make sure that you are on the correct blog. This is for faculty and staff with five years or more at an early college.
One of our signature elements at Cross Creek is "R-Time." As a reminder, "R-Time" was deliberately created as the place in the school day for social-emotional learning (SEL). Indeed, the first twenty minutes of every day is devoted to R-Time in which character development, social skill building, and cultivation of a college-ready mindset occurs. The rationale for this daily dive into the affective domain is based on the premise that we must develop the whole student for him or her to be successful at college, career, and life!
It has been mentioned and lamented that many of our students who enter as ninth graders are not ready for the rigors of the early college program and that the stressors of performance here can be detrimental to some. For the adults at the school, the challenge is and always has been on how we can meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs so that all students are college ready. These are the very reasons why we include R-Time, why we support AVID, and why we have a Cross Creek in the first place.
The designator "R-Time" refers to the five "Rs" of the Cross Creek Mission Statement: The Mission of Cross Creek Early College High School is to provide a smaller academic environment that fosters growth and success to prepare students for their future by developing relationships, responsibility, and respect through relevant and rigorous coursework.
Over the years, R-Time has been adapted to changing conditions of staff numbers, the complexity of program management, and student needs. An example of one adaption to the R-Time line-up was Friday Club Day. The rationale to include Club Day during R-Time was to allow every student to have a sense of belonging to a peer group. While it may seem to be extra work for faculty, most teachers acknowledge the benefits outweigh the work. Research suggests that when a school inserts SEL education with fidelity, achievement will grow.
It is not surprising that, at times, faculty and staff may question the overall benefits of the R-Time (SEL) program, especially during times of testing, deadlines, and other pull factors. Much like anything else, a program is only as good as those who implement it. While many teachers have conducted the book studies numerous times and have a sense of "repeat fatigue," students are learning the material with fresh perspective and a teacher's enthusiasm (or lack thereof) may make the difference.
The overall intent of SEL, much like the AVID program, is to insert moments within the content classes to double-down on the concepts of R-Time. For example, content teachers can refer to “putting first things first,” a clear connection to the Covey book. Reference to R-Time during content classes only help to reinforce ideas that are introduced and it is the expectation that teachers do so with intention.
We know that Cross Creek is not a traditional high school and that R-Time is not “homeroom.” If teachers are treating it as such, they miss the point of why Cross Creek exists. The program is intended to provide the necessary supports to allow students to navigate the college experience so that they are not only college eligible, but college-ready. R-Time is one of the supports.
There are four parts to this assignment and all parts are due by Monday January 8, 2018 by the end of the school day:
1. Read the above introduction and the article “Integrating SEL Education into High Schools” by
clicking on the first button to the right. Keep the readings in mind when answering the
2. Watch the Goleman interview video by clicking the button on the right; keep the video in
mind when answering the questions.
3. Answer questions on the blog forum by clicking on comments below. Brevity is key, but if
you need, comment on your comment to answer all questions.
1. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being most important, rate the importance of including SEL
education at the early college high school.
2. Comment on the above introduction in regards to your perspective of R-Time at Cross
Creek. What one idea in the introduction struck you as important? Why?
3. After reading the article, “Integrating SEL Ed into High Schools,” how does our R-
Time meet the needs of our student population? How critical is teacher buy-in to
teaching SEL for the program’s overall impact?
4. “SEL works best for students who need it most” was quoted in the video. Using data
provided by Daniel Goleman** in the interview and your experiences at Cross Creek,
in a paragraph or two, create a compelling argument to those new to the early college
or outsiders on the benefits of SEL (R-Time) at Cross Creek.
4. Respond to two of your “Veteran” colleagues. Your responses need to be thoughtful and
All parts of this assignment are due by Monday January 8, 2018 by the end of the school day.
As always, if you need any clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me.
**Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. As a science journalist Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years.