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School Is Fun—The Willows Community School Starts School Year With New Social Emotional Programming, Speaker Series Events

Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Posted: Friday, October 30, 2015 – 1:20 PM

The Willows Community School begins another school year with an ongoing commitment to the social emotional development of children and inclusivity. Innovative, educational programming, administrative restructuring, speaker events, and documentary screenings for students and the public complement The Willows’ blend of challenging academics and 21st century skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, community, cross-cultural competency and character.

Recognizing that character and heart are essential, The Willows is integrating RULER, the evidence-based program designed to teach social and emotional intelligence skills, into its curriculum. Developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, RULER offers a unified, sophisticated language for students, teachers and parents to identify and discuss issues and emotions in themselves and others in appropriate, meaningful ways. (

This fall, The Willows will hold two events centering on the important issues of emotional intelligence and diversity.

• Young adult authors Brittany Colbert, author of Pointe, Michelle Gagnon, author of Don’t Turn Around and currently writing a transgender novel, and Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything will be featured in A Diversity in Children’s Literature Author Panel  on Thursday, Nov. 5.

•Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will present “Emotions Matter: From Recognizing to Regulating Emotions” on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Both events are free and open to the public. For information and the required registrations, visit

To better serve its students and enhance its Developmental Kindergarten through eighth grade model, The Willows has introduced innovative restructuring. A key addition was the creation of the director of student life position to work with students, parents and faculty on social emotional issues and lead the life skills program. Christina Kim, who fills the new position, holds a master of education and M.S. in social work from Columbia University; a master of education, special education and elementary education from Bank Street College and a B.S. from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. Kim most recently worked at The School at Columbia University, the Manhattan School for Children and The Town School.

Terri Baird, formerly Willows Lower School director, will be the new director of academic studies and program.

“All of these developments and events reflect The Willows’ continued commitment to prepare its students as citizens of their community and future world leaders,” said Head of School Lisa Rosenstein. “As well as our desire to contribute to the lasting learning of our parent community and all of Los Angeles.”

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