New online portal launched by SC Dept. of Education dedicated to social-emotional learning

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Addressing mental health among students is a large part of a new portal launched by South Carolina’s Department of Education. It’s dedicated to providing information and resources on social-emotional learning.

A new school year bringing with it new challenges.

“I will have a mask on at some points. I will also have at times, when I have to have contact, I’ll have a special robe on,” said Greenville County School District Special Education Teacher Edith Alston.

Edith Alston has been a teacher for 25 years in the Greenville County School District. Something that she told us is of most importance when it comes to teaching kids, social-emotional learning.

“It’s not just a classroom thing but it’s a community,” Alston said.

Leaders with the state education department say that helps with managing emotions, maintaining positive relationships and making responsible decisions. It all ties in with a student’s mental health.

That’s what this new portal through South Carolina’s Department of Education is all about. Ryan Brown with the department said its goal is to benefit students’ well-being during an uncertain time.

“Whether or not a parent has chosen an in-person option or a face-to-face option for their child for the upcoming school year, we felt it was important students, parents and teachers have the resources needed to address those social-emotional needs,” said Chief Communications Officer with the South Carolina Department of Education Ryan Brown.

The portal provides information and activities for students and parents. It also has lessons teachers can incorporate at the beginning of the year.

Alston told us resources like this are needed more than ever.

“In our current climate, you have a lot of families that are going through having to make life decisions, so the kids are now feeling that,” Alston said.

And as families gear up for a new school year, they told 7 news any additional help is appreciated.

“People need all the resources they can right now because we’re going through something we’ve never been through before,” said Upstate Grandpa Mickey Clayton.

You can find a link to the portal here: https://sel.ed.sc.gov/

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