Focus

Social Emotional Learning Program

"What concerns Harari and many other experts is that schools aren't prioritizing -- or even teaching at all -- the kind of emotional intelligence people will desperately need." -CBS News

Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, every student at Desert Academy will participate in a class titled Focus, which is dedicated to building skills of emotional regulation, conflict resolution, goal setting, digital literacy, and stress reduction. In-class exercises include training in active listening, mindful awareness, and empathy building. Every student in every grade will participate in Focus either once per week, or once every other week. Focus is taught by one of four faculty/staff members, including Christine Siegrist, Phillip Lucero, Ed Woodd, Dr. Jennifer Breneiser, and Dr. Yann Lussiez, who are all trained in various aspects of this curriculum. We are also fortunate to have dedicated and highly qualified parent and community volunteers to ensure every student is exposed to these skills on a regular basis. In recent years, research indicates that these social emotional skills are crucial in building a strong and resilient character. Though designing and implementing this class is an intensely challenging project, we at Desert Academy feel confident that Focus will be of paramount importance as we educate our students to be compassionate global citizens dedicated to collaborating effectively with others.

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"It may be the first time in history we have no idea whatsoever how the job market would look like in 30 years. So the best bet is to focus on emotional intelligence and mental stability and mental resilience," Harari said.