Several staff members from Student Services have come together to make an executive functioning and planning program that is now available at Wildkit Academy. Although this program has only been available to certain sophomores during AM support, it is now being introduced to any student of any grade who wants help with their executive functioning skills.
“The purpose of these groups and sessions is to provide students with strategies and tools to help them organize materials, plan time, control emotions, study for tests and advocate for themselves,” school psychologist Katherine DeWeese says.
DeWeese is the head of program along with other psychologists, social workers, counselors, and Academic Intervention Team advisors. The program has been a learning process based on how students have been reacting to it.
“I believe improving a student’s executive functioning skills will ultimately increase their confidence, academic skills and ability to problem solve for years to come,” DeWeese says.
Each session has had a different focus, but students can also get help that is personalized to their own personal needs as well.
“When you realize that there is a certain skill area that you need help in, we then hone in on those skills and give certain strategies to help you improve,” social worker Jacklyn Mancilla says.
Students are able to track their weaknesses and strengths by using a two page screener. The screener is used to rate one’s current executive functioning skills.
These skills are not only helpful for these students’ high school education, but they can take these skills to college and future careers. This program is about helping students find what works best for their learning process. It’s also about how to take the skills that they are learning and use them for future purposes, according to Mancilla.
“The main focus of the program is to help students create self understanding about both emotional and behavioral controls.” Mancilla says.