It's not enough to simply fill students' brains with facts. A successful education demands that their character be developed as well. That's where social and emotional learning (SEL) comes in. SEL is the process of helping students develops the skills to manage their emotions, resolve conflict nonviolently, and make responsible decisions. At Shonan International School, we weave SEL into all parts of the school culture- both in the classroom, in the playground and at home. Students learn skills such as being able to regulate one’s emotions in challenging situations; effectively communicate one’s own feelings to others and modify their behavior to sustain a harmonious relationship with others. We believe that by having these social emotional skills students not only can optimize their learning at school but also will be able to have healthy relationships with others. 
Social emotional skills enhances academic learning
Recent research studies have shown that there is a huge relationship between how much social emotional realms affect a student’s academic learning. When we think of our memories back in school, we can recall the class environments in which we thoroughly enjoyed the most. This internal brain state allows us to attain optimal learning environment. When a child feels secure with her social and emotional state, she can stay focused, be fully attentive, motivated and engaged in her class work. However when a child is caught up in a distressing emotion, her learning ability is temporarily hampered. The child’s attention becomes preoccupied with whatever maybe the source of the trouble.



Why SEL is important?
Though Japan has multifaceted cultural expressions that make them uniquely attractive and fascinating, there is a huge epidemic of children who are socially and emotionally unstable.  According to a recent research conducted by Hokkaido University, 1 in 12 Japanese elementary aged children suffer for clinical depression. Furthermore, a data in 2014 reveals that 4600 children of the ages of 10-24 each year commit suicide each year and another 157,000 are hospitalized for self inflicted injuries.
 The cause of this youth crisis could be suggested from a multiple of factors. One factor could be school related problems such as bullying, while others speculate that it is the overarching school pressures such as standardizing testing. Some experts are also blaming the Japanese school systems that encourage the notion of “collectivism” in which individual identity has to be sacrificed for the well being of others. This means schools prioritize individuals to suppress their feeling to get along with others and omit social emotional learning altogether. Children feel isolated and lack access to resources to vent their emotions in a healthy manner.   Currently, SEL is crucial element that has to be implemented within the society as a whole. 
Collaborative Family-School Relationships for Children’s SEL 
At Shonan International School, parents and teachers work together in the process of maintaining a healthy social emotional environment. Therefore, it is crucial for parents to implement positive parenting strategies while teachers utilize similar behavioral strategies at school. Under the guidance of our social emotional coordinator, teachers and parents take part in effective workshops to understand effective strategies that adhere to the child’s current emotional and social development.
Our curriculum implements Erik Erickson theory on a developmental psychology. We believe that for a child to maintain healthy personality, the child will need to master specific tasks according to his/ her developmental stages. 
Parental Workshops. 
SIS provides compulsory workshops for parents. These workshops are to learn about the social and emotional developments of each child. During these workshops we will discuss about how parents can help support their child at home.