Ex-SEL: FMS’ Advisory Program

James Watson, Writer

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Do you like ExSEL? ExSEL is an advisory program that started this year at FMS. Frelinghuysen has had different types of advisory programs in the past, but this is the first year of ExSEL. In this program, students learn about concepts such as the middle school transition, working together, and more social-emotional learning topics. 

ExSEL is during homeroom class for 40 minutes, and classes are shortened by about 8 minutes. Students experience this program on two Thursdays each month. On the first day of ExSEL, students learned what a norm is and the class made a contract of things that they will respect such as confidentiality, respecting other’s choices, and respecting others’ opinions. Then students learned about what makes a strong member of the team. Another day students learned about getting to know each other and themselves as a class. They filled out a survey about themselves as well. On day 4, sixth-graders learned about the middle school transition and discussed the positives and areas for improvement. Recently in ExSEL, sixth-graders discussed talking to others about problems that arise at home and/or school. They then developed a list of people we can talk to and for support. 7th graders and 8th graders have learned about communication and the community as well.

ExSEL helps students emotionally so they can succeed academically. FMS principal Mr. Uglialoro says that students will “definitely” have ExSEL in future years. He also stated that with ExSEL, his “hope for students is to feel more connected to

the school and feel like they belong. There are a lot of students struggling emotionally and that is why [the ExSEL team] think[s] this program will benefit a lot of people.” In the second half of the year, Mr. Uglialoro wants to meet with teachers and select focus groups of students to discuss what they like and dislike about ExSEL to further evolve the program.

In conclusion, ExSEL is a new program at Frelinghuysen to help students emotionally, as that will help all students academically. ExSEL will help all students improve as we progress throughout the year!