During summer 2018, 14 school district staff and 6 administrators received intensive five-day training in DBT Steps A. The training was delivered by James Mazza and Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza co-authors of the book DBT Skills in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT Steps-A). DBT Steps A is a Social Emotional Learning Curriculum designed to help adolescents develop their own toolboxes of effective behavioral strategies or life skills. These skills can help youths solve problems, make sense of their own world, resist and persist in the face of adversity, form positive relationships, improve communication skills, and provide a framework for responsible decision-making.
The district plans to teach these skills in a variety of ways in grades 6-12. Significantly, Steps A curriculum will connect to the developmental guidance lessons taught through Second Step in Grades 4K-5 throughout the district to help facilitate a smooth transition from the elementary schools to the middle school.
In addition, during summer academies, held in August, trained district staff will be training their middle and high school colleagues on how to infuse the Steps A strategies into the work they do with students.
A special thank you to the Watertown Community Foundation for supporting the DBT Steps A training. Via their generosity 70 school district staff members and 57 school administrators in Jefferson County received this valuable training.