Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

Bedford Public Schools uses Responsive Classroom, Open Circle, Social Thinking and Teaching Tolerance to address the specific social and emotional needs of PreK-2 children.  These programs are “woven” into the fabric of each student’s day, with Responsive Classroom being an umbrella that spans across aspects of a student’s day and Open Circle, Social Thinking and Teaching Tolerance being used to deliver specific, targeted lessons. Specific lessons are taught through whole class, small group and individualized instruction. At Davis School we address these areas of development through assemblies, classroom meetings, guidance lessons, lunch groups, social skills groups, daily announcements celebrating kind acts and the miracle of "in the moment" teaching. Our school mascot, "Friendship Frog" plays a major role in our curriculum, hallway visuals and posters as well as assemblies. The skillful implementation of these combined programs should result in the district moving closer to its goal around student resilience and pro-social behaviors.


Open Circle
Open Circle provides a unique, evidence-based social and emotional learning program for grades K-5. Working with administrators, educators, counselors, and staff from across the school, Open Circle aims to:

  • Students: Proactively develop children’s skills for recognizing and managing emotions, empathy, positive relationships and problem solving
  • Teachers/Staff: Help schools develop a community where students feel safe, cared for and engaged in learning
  • Parents/Caregivers: Extend the learning to other areas of life

Some common language associated with Open Circle that you may hear among teachers and students may include: “Calm breathing”, “Dangerous and destructive behaviors or double DD’s” and  “Non verbal language”, 

Social Thinking
Social Thinking Methodology uses evidence based strategies to improve competency in the areas of self regulation and social emotional learning. Social Thinking Methodology is a developmental, language-based, thinking-based (metacognitive) methodology that uses visual frameworks, unique vocabulary and activities to foster social competencies. Common language heard among teachers and students include “whole body listening”, “following the group plan” and “thinking with your eyes”.

Teaching Tolerance
Teaching Tolerance frameworks are available to teachers and parents to educate children to be active participants in a diverse democracy.  Through an integrated approach and collaborative effort (counseling, music, art, physical education, teachers and administrators) schoolwide assemblies are held four times a year to instill a sense of pride in one’s identity, respect for our diverse population of learners,  the right to experience justice and the correct action to take on behalf oneself and others.