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Last week, USD 456 - Marais des Cygnes Valley was notified that the Kansas State Department of Education, in partnership with and Smoky Hill Education Service Center, recognized Marais des Cygnes Valley with an Enhanced Spotlight Award for the district's Social Emotional Program. Districts who receive this recognition have successfully implemented an initiative that has strengthened social, emotional and character development skills in their students and school climate.

Led by the "We Believe" outcome statement "All students' well-being will be supported," USD 456 has taken deliberate steps this year to begin implementing a system to educate, identify, refer, counsel, and support students and families within the district. Specifically, the district has implemented direct education of students at a classroom level on issues involving social-emotional topics. Students have also participated in an evidence-based screener to help identify students in need. Lastly, district staff now are able to refer students they observe as needing assistance to the district social worker.

The Smoky Hill Education Service Center will make a virtual state announcement of schools being recognized on May 12, 2020. This announcement will be made via Facebook and Twitter with an individual video highlighting the district’s initiatives. Each video as well as the written description will also be posted on the Smoky Hill Education Service Center website as a resource for others.

The Kansas Department of Education and Smoky Hill Education Service Center conduct the recognition program as a way to highlight schools and districts that are implementing new initiatives or are enhancing existing initiatives that will strengthen the social, emotional and character development skills in their students and school climate.  Initiatives can be a curriculum, program, practice, activity, and/or interventions.  Initiatives must support at least one of the SECD Standards strands (Character Development, Personal Development, or Social Development) and support one or more of the 5R’s (Responsive Culture, Relationships, Relevance, Rigor, or Results) from the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA). 

USD 456 - Marais des Cygnes Valley is honored to be recognized with the Enhanced Spotlight Award and looks forward to continuing the enhancement of its social-emotional supports.