Health & Wellness

School Health and Wellness Committee (SHWC)

The Board of Education has authorized the District Accountability Committee to fulfill the role of the district-wide wellness advisory committee.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at Ridgway School District

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as, “Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

  • Self-awareness: Know your strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”

  • Self-management: Effectively manage stress, control impulses, and motivate yourself to set and achieve goals.

  • Social awareness: Understand the perspectives of others and empathize with them, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

  • Relationship skills: Communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

  • Responsible decision-making: Make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety, and social norms.  []

Elementary School:

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) begins with our earliest learners and our Pyramid Model in which our youngest learners from Preschool-grade 2 learn skills in problem solving, making friends and identifying a range of emotions in themselves and others. In Grades K-5 grades students are taught social emotional skills via direct and indirect lessons, class meetings, novels and restorative circles. Our Mental Health Counselor utilizes the Second Steps and Zones of Regulation curriculum.

Secondary School:  

Our secondary students receive SEL through our comprehensive Colorado Health and Physical Education standards taught through our physical education and health program in grades 6-9. The addition of 6-12 Advisory Period makes it possible for students to receive both SEL lessons with the Mental Health Counselor, and post secondary/career planning with the RSS Guidance Counselor and the support of the Naviance web-based program.

Teachers frequently integrate social emotional learning within the lessons of literature and social studies, teamwork taught through an ensemble in music or drama, or even as a lab partner in science and the risk-taking necessary to learn in the arts, music and foreign language.  

Mental Health Counselors:

Sharon Brown serves as our Mental Health Counselor at RES, and Hélène Discoe is our Mental Health Counselor for RSS. Both serve on a variety of shared partnership committees within the greater community as well.

For an overview of the social-emotional wellness program at Ridgway School District, please click this link: Mental Health Counselors & Social Emotional Wellness

The Axis Health Systems Regional Crisis Center – Montrose (formally the Crisis Walk-In Center), located at 300 N. Cascade Ave, Montrose, CO is available 24/7 to talk to someone face-to-face. You can also call the walk-in center at 970.252.3203 to speak with a local crisis counselor. The National Suicide Hotline is also available 24/7, call 800-273 - TALK (8255) or TEXT 741741 

Bullying Prevention

Ridgway School District takes a proactive approach to preventing bullying by educating students and parents about how to recognize the signs of bullying and how to take action to prevent or stop it from happening.

The bully prevention and social emotional curriculum and strategies are in place for grades K-12, with developmentally appropriate topics delivered via teacher-taught lessons throughout the year. In addition to class lessons on bullying prevention, students practice role play strategies and learn how to respond to bullying situations.

Curricular Program Tools:

Second Step (K-8)

Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) (6-12)

Pyramid model (PreK3-K)

Restorative Practices


For more information on Ridgway School District Bullying Prevention and resources, please click here.

Resource on Bully Prevention, information and advice from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding bullying

Partnerships with the Community:

We have a team of high school student leaders that partner closely with the Community That Cares (CTC) project whose goal is to promote a healthy community environment of protective factors to help all our young people grow up and become compassionate, responsible and resilient adults.  

We also partner with our UnBOCES and other governmental agencies such as social services, Tri-County Health, Ouray County Health Services, Hilltop, Juvenile Services, Voyager Youth Program to provide monthly individual student support services (ISST). Voyager and Juvenile Services support middle lunch lunch groups at the secondary school on preventative health/teen issues during the school year.  In partnership with a student’s family, we work together to utilize resources to support student needs. Hilltop and Voyager have also supported LGBTQ and Positive Youth Development training for our greater Ridgway community.

Ridgway School District Outdoor Experiential Education (ODEE):

Ridgway School District’s extensive outdoor experiential education (ODEE) learning program, promotes teamwork, resiliency, empathy, healthy risk taking, cooperation and lifelong wellness tools. Whether students are engaged in a day trip at Top of the Pines, ice climbing in the Ouray Ice Park, learning to ski on the mountain at Telluride, or working in teams during an integrated overnight trip, each Ridgway student learns to be a leader and a teamplayer and discovers new pathways to confidence and self understanding.  Ridgway faculty have built outdoor experiential learning from Preschool through Grade 12.

Research on Social Emotional Learning:

  • Educational research reiterates that students who receive high-quality SEL instruction achieve an average of 11 percentile points higher on academic testing than students who do not receive this instruction [Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)].

  • Building strengths in “open-mindedness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion and agreeableness” are strong indicators of success in adulthood [The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)].

  • Exercise improves learning on three levels: “Optimizes your mindset to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus” [Ratey, J., Spark, 2008 p. 53]

  • Researchers have documented the importance of caring teacher-student and student-student relationships in fostering students' commitment to school and in promoting academic success (e.g. Blum & Libby, 2004; Hamre & Pianta, 2006; Hawkins, Smith, & Catalano, 2004; Jennings & Greenberg 2009; cited in Durlak, et al., 2011).

Additional Resources:

Classroom Movement - RSS

Take a Break! Teacher Toolbox Physical Activity Breaks in the Secondary Classroom.

FUNtervals: Four minutes of high intensity activity, alternating 20 seconds of high intensity with 10 seconds of rest.

10 Simple Activities to Encourage Physical Activity in the Classroom

Classroom Movement - RES


FUNtervals: Four minutes of high intensity activity, alternating 20 seconds of high intensity with 10 seconds of rest.

Just Dance You Tube for Elementary