This year, students in O’Neal’s upper and middle school advisory classes have started the #WinAtSocial Program provided by The Social Institute
(TSI). O’Neal’s partnership with TSI will help to support O’Neal’s families and students to navigate challenges related to social-emotional health, social media, and technology. TSI has a positive, high-character, gamified approach created with student leaders and researchers across the country and has been featured in the Washington Post
, NAIS Magazine
, and ISTE
Designed uniquely by grade level, through this program, students in grades 5-12 will cover the following:
- Reflecting values, character, and interests in actions online
- Balancing time and attention on tech with the people around us
- Surrounding oneself with positive and credible influences
- Using social media as a microphone to create meaningful change
- Finding one’s own path no matter the pressure from others
The partnership with TSI allows the TSI team, which has experience in world-class athletics, education, social media, technology and parenting, to stay in touch with the student experiences of its partner institutions across the country. TSI has partnered with organizations such as Ravenscroft School, Gaston Day School, National Cathedral School, Miss Porter’s School, U.S. Olympic Athletes, Duke Men’s Basketball, and The Women’s Sports Foundation.
The family support component of the program comes with a Parent Resource Portal where the latest social media coaching tips can be found. Parents can also stay ahead of trending apps, privacy settings and technology.
An enhancement to the program is #WinAtSocial LIVE, promoting remote, real-time advisory sessions that focuses on students' social-emotional health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. A group of psychologists, mental health specialists, and social emotional learning experts have joined student leaders and the TSI team to create this niche offering.
From the #WinAtSocial program, the School hopes to generate the following results:
- Encouragement of positive peer influence among students around complex social and emotional challenges they face daily
- Amplification of students’ ability to make smart, positive decisions with devices, social media, privacy settings and more
- Strengthening of parents’ and adults’ understanding of student experiences on social media and technology and their ability to coach students through proactive, ongoing education.
- Generation of conversations between students and trusted adults, and between students and their parents, around positive use of social media and technology.
“The recent partnership between The O’Neal School and The Social Institute is an exciting one!" exclaims Head of Middle School Miryah Walters. "Throughout our advisory program, students will engage in discussions, growth and development in social emotional learning. This new partnership provides common language and information for our One Community comprised of students, faculty and families.”
All middle and upper school students at O’Neal attend an advisory class multiple times a week. Since each student has their unique interests and goals, Advisory is tailored to place these students (advisees) into small groups with one teacher (advisor). The advisor’s role includes, but is not limited to: being the first line of communication for teachers and parents, helping advisees set personal goals and revisiting goals throughout the school year, and coaching advisees to self-advocate when faced with inevitable challenges. For many years, O’Neal has paired a character curriculum with involved faculty mentors making Advisory one of the cornerstones of O’Neal as it prides itself on relationships and individual attention.