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Social Skills Development

At Wye River Upper School, we build strategies and opportunities to grow and strengthen our students' social skills and emotional development. Research demonstrates that solid and adaptive social and emotional growth is key to success in adulthood.

The typical social and emotional skills can be impacted by neurological differences, including ADHD, dyslexia, and autism. Children whose needs are not well supported in school may develop behaviors as they mature, including depression, anxiety, and frustration. By the time they reach high school, their social and emotional needs can hamper their academic growth.

Our work begins with our goal to identify our students' strengths and interests while supporting their needs. Many of our students come to Wye River Upper School having left their passions at the bottom of the list while struggling to keep up with their school work. Here they study and perform music, pursue the art of acting, and participate in as many as three fitness programs yearly. We want them to revive passions and find new ones and learn that their hidden talents can carry them through what weaknesses they may have.

This new found self-esteem becomes the foundation to navigate through challenging teenage years.

With a staff-student ratio of 5:1, we pay attention to our students' social interactions in all settings and situations. Teachers provide constant modeling and are trained to redirect social interactions in need of improvement. Since 2014, Wye River Upper School has partnered with Community Mediation Upper Shore, Inc. to help students learn effective ways to manage conflict.

Our Dean of Students is a resource for students and families as she provides classroom and one-to-one support for a variety of needs, including social-emotional skills. She offers small group opportunities that include role-playing and reviewing student interactions with peers and adults. If a student works with a therapist (or similar professional) outside of school, our Dean of Students communicates as needed with that person to create consistency and broaden understanding.

Our curriculum focuses on student collaboration, effective communication, and problem-solving with peers. Developing these skills prepares students for success beyond high school. We support every student, at whatever point they may be when they enroll, to improve and strengthen social skills.

Student receives emotional support from dog
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