by Carolina King
Katie Tryboski, mental health counselor for both Ridgway Schools, gave a presentation to the board last Thursday on the social and emotional learning programs she is implementing in the schools and the other work she has been doing for Ridgway students since starting the position at the beginning of this school year.
Superintendent Susan Lacy introduced Tryboski to the board by first stating that while the state of Colorado ensures that schools have health policies strong in nutrition and exercise, she wanted to see the school address social and emotional health. Lacy cited a statistic that found academic scores to be 11 points higher in schools that have mental health programs.
Tryboski went through several programs she is using, such as a third through fifth grade program called Zones of Regulation that uses color-coding to help children express their emotions. The program is “a framework to foster self-regulation and emotional control,” Tryboski said.
Another of the many programs she highlighted was Sources of Strength, a suicide prevention program she is using in the secondary school.
Tryboski listed the most troubling trends she is seeing in students, including...