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Social Emotional and Creative Arts Specialist Staff Coming to GIPS

GIPS is bringing in some new staff additions for the 2022-23 school year.
GIPS is bringing in some new staff additions for the 2022-23 school year.(GIPS)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 8:12 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Public Schools will be adding staff to their elementary schools as part of a proactive approach to championing social and emotional wellness for students.

Approved by the Board of Education on April 14th, the new “GIPS Social Emotional and Creative Arts Specialist” staff will be implemented beginning for the upcoming 2022 - 2023 school year. The purpose of these new certified support roles are to improve students’ ability to succeed in the academic setting through explicit instruction in social emotional learning competencies and using art as the catalyst for growth.  When social emotional learning activities are integrated throughout all classrooms with a systemic, school-wide approach, students can learn to express their voice and perspectives.

GIPS says it is excited about what this means in terms of providing more effective support for teachers and counselors at the building level alongside making a stronger impact in the approach to educating the whole child.  Adding these innovative new roles is another piece of the ongoing efforts to foster positive school climates that improve every year.

“At Grand Island Public Schools we continue to evolve with the needs of our students while elevating their gifts and talents,”  GIPS Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover said. “We have a unique opportunity to add these Social Emotional & Creative Arts Specialists to enrich their self efficacy while infusing exposure to the arts. The spirit of this role acknowledges the importance of building crucial life skills and personal responsibility so that our students may be successful in navigating challenging moments. We really want students to be able to build their own self-confidence and become strong problem solvers. We believe adding these roles and core classes to our Elementary Schools is a step forward to empowering our students to deploy these skills just as they would be needed in the real world.”

The new Social Emotional & Creative Arts Specialists will be new roles added to the staff for each elementary building.  Envisioning the approach as additional vital support allows for these dynamic new teachers to be active in the wellness arena at the building level while all existing teaching opportunities will remain.

“We are excited to have time for counselors to provide individual and small group counseling sessions along with the support for social emotional learning and creative arts as part of our whole child curriculum,” said GIPS Associate Superintendent Dr. Robin Dexter.

GIPS remains committed to cultivating vibrant and consistent cultures of equity district-wide.  In many ways that work is never done and is always ripe for opportunities to empower students to better grow in their social and emotional development. Adding qualified educators in these specialist roles will certainly make a positive impact.

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