Schools Attuned at Wasatch Academy

Kim CarterPrivate School, SA

The integration of Schools Attuned principles, philosophy, and practices can look very different from school to school and educator to educator. Each individual and each institution can find ways to blend the Schools Attuned program with the work they are currently doing. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I have been working in both academic and therapeutic settings. My work with Schools Attuned as a participant and a facilitator has given me further insight into the unique neurodevelopmental profiles of students. Conflicts may arise when students find themselves in environments that place demands where they are weakest or limit their affinities.

At Wasatch Academy, my primary responsibility is to help meet the needs of students who would benefit from private counseling. Although this is not academic counseling, I am in a position to notice how emotional difficulties are often caused by stressors in the classroom. Difficulties with attention and completing assignments can lead to feelings of failure. Problems with memory and recalling information for tests may lead to anxiety or feelings of inadequacy. Poor social cognition can make group projects difficult and lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Although Schools Attuned is not a program for dealing with the emotional needs of students, there is a strong connection between academic success and failure and a students emotional state. Student cannot be present cognitively if they are consumed by personal/social/emotional issues.

I was hired by Wasatch Academy, in large part, due to my familiarity with Schools Attuned and the ways in which I have integrated it into my professional practice. The school works to meet the academic, residential, and recreational needs of every student. My counseling practice is yet another aspect of student life at Wasatch Academy that is guided by the All Kinds of Mind principles. Even though I am primarily concerned with the emotional needs of a student, I am able to suggest accommodations and modifications in the classroom and dormitory that while academic in nature, may work to ease emotional stress as well.

As a professional, I am curious about ways in which other counselors are integrating Schools Attuned into their practice. How are other educators who are not primarily classroom teachers integrating Schools Attuned?

-Lori English