Sabina Elementary plans to invest time for social-emotional learning


By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]



Sabina Elementary Principal Matthew Willian gives an update to the East Clinton school board.

Sabina Elementary Principal Matthew Willian gives an update to the East Clinton school board.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

LEES CREEK — Time will be marked off where Sabina Elementary students will be taught about citizenship, respect, and other pieces of social-emotional skills, the principal said this week.

Blocking out time, said Principal Matthew Willian, will give a dedicated time for social-emotional learning (SEL) and “all those different pieces of what it means to be a champion and what it means to be an ambassador.”

Developing champions for the East Clinton community and ambassadors to serve as models and facilitators for others in the world is a common theme in the district, and the phrase “Building Champions and Ambassadors” can be found in a prominent place on most pages of the district’s website.

In preparing for the designated time, each teacher will be equipped with “a library of resources” and sample activities, said Willian.

The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team comprised of East Clinton educators has created a guide, laying out what will be covered during a particular week — the trait of persistence, for example.

The PBIS team also is putting together folders of resources for each of the 24 topics to be covered.

At this week’s East Clinton school board meeting, the Sabina principal said the PBIS team is a motivated crew who believes in the power of social-emotional education, and how that will translate to a better school at Sabina and better environments in the middle school and high school.

In other words, the team members see that social-emotional learning is “just investing in the child,” said Willian.

According to Willian, schools will be rated or assessed on how good a job they do at teaching social-emotional skills.

In June 2019, the State Board of Education approved social and emotional learning standards for K-12 students. In a June 2019 message from Paolo DeMaria, Superintendent of Public Instruction in Ohio, DeMaria stated “each district and school will decide for itself the extent to which it uses these standards and how it uses these standards.”

Also during this week’s EC board session, Middle School Principal Matthew Melnek said they’re looking at options for social-emotional learning programs, “trying to make sure they are sustainable and can fit our needs.”

On a similar note, first-year Principal Melnek said they are looking at different leadership activities they can take on to bring Project Trust into the building a bit more, incorporating Project Trust one day a month. Project Trust is dedicated to building a more positive school climate with a focus on ending bullying, and is perhaps best known for its campgrounds retreats.

Middle school teachers are working to create different clubs, and are looking at starting a National Junior Honor Society chapter in East Clinton. There also are teachers talking about a math club and maybe even a history club, said the principal.

The ongoing renovation projects at the two elementary buildings in the district are expected to be completed by the start of the 2022-23 academic year, said Supt. Eric Magee.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Sabina Elementary Principal Matthew Willian gives an update to the East Clinton school board.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/04/web1_willian_c.jpgSabina Elementary Principal Matthew Willian gives an update to the East Clinton school board. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/04/web1_science_club_c.jpgGary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]