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Massapequa Takes a Meaningful Approach to Emotional Wellness

Ruler Mood Meter

“Emotions Matter” is the philosophy of the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence R.U.L.E.R. approach which has been adopted by the Massapequa School District. The purpose is to help students build lifetime skills to understand and manage their emotions.

R.U.L.E.R. – Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating — is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that is integrated within school practices. It was adopted last year at Berner Middle School and will eventually expand to the entire district, supporting one of the board of education’s goal to “foster a culture of respect, kindness and compassion by continuing to support and promote social-emotional learning initiatives that expand the involvement of staff, students, parents and community partners.”

Administrative Associate Lisa Silveri noted that adopting the R.U.L.E.R. approach is a collaborative effort as it requires the investment of district and building leaders as well as faculty and staff. The positive well-being of the staff has a direct impact on students.

Berner Middle School Principal Jason Esposito said that there are more than 2,000 words in the English language that relate to emotions, but people often use the same few words to describe their feelings. One of the goals of R.U.L.E.R. is to expand that vocabulary, so students can better get in touch with their feelings and understand the right way to express their emotions in a certain situation. It is important that a reaction is not destructive to an individual or the people around him or her, Mr. Esposito added.