South Side School First To Be Certified in Social Emotional Learning

By Cade Shultice and Clarissa Jones
Medill Reports

Executive Director Natalie Neris of McKinley Park’s Namaste Charter School is changing the way its teachers and staff address the unique needs of students in an area struggling with poverty, crime and gun violence.

Namaste is implementing a new curriculum that emphasizes social emotional learning, using new techniques to cater to children who must cope with the trauma of daily life on Chicago’s south side in addition to managing schoolwork, ensuring they are able to lead successful lives both in and outside the classroom.

Photo at top: Namaste teacher helps her students with assignment (Clarissa Jones/MEDILL).