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DuPage ECE Programs Plan for a Brain Smart Start to the 2018-2019 School Year

Recently our DuPage early childhood programs sent representatives to the “Elevate Social Emotional Learning: Start Strong with Conscious Discipline the First Six Weeks” conference in Orlando, Florida. Jennifer Sticken, Education Coordinator; Margarita Arbelaez, ERSEA & Family Engagement Coordinator; and Marya Mansavage, Education Coach, spent time reflecting on their practices and learning to incorporate conscious discipline into their curriculum.

This conference focused on discovering proven strategies to increase teacher effectiveness and satisfaction and academic performance while reducing discipline referrals. Participants also focused on learning the keys to cultivating a healthy, connected home and school culture with specific practices and structures that bring about transformational, sustainable change in homes, classrooms, schools and communities. In addition, they left the conference with a complete SEL plan for the first six weeks that is geared towards setting up the entire school year for success!

Staff members also were able to use this conference as a time to reflect on what this discipline and study means for them:

“Just like the Conscious Discipline theme song states, it truly does start in the heart and it all starts with you. Making connections and noticing are so important. I can’t wait to help build our school family with the staff and families this school year.” – Marya Mansavage

“Conscious Discipline has reminded me that I am the only person that controls me. It starts with being conscious of my feelings. I am reminded that this discipline is a journey and I am going to be forgiving of myself and other. I will share with other the importance of reflection and ownership so we can improve.” – Jennifer Sticken

“It’s about love rather than fear. We heal through connections. I am bringing back to our program team the commitment of shifting to notice my thought, my peers, our team, and the families we serve.” – Margarita Arbelaez