This school year, Center staff will be working with the Rhode Island Department of Education to train RIDE Pre-K teachers, teacher assistants, and education coordinators in Conscious Discipline, which is a social-emotional learning and classroom management program that uses everyday life events to teach children self-control, conflict resolution, and social skills.
The training began on August 21 and 22, as part of the annual State Pre-K Kick-off Event. Conscious Discipline Master Instructor Lety Valero provided a two-day overview of the trauma-informed program’s philosophy and practice. From September through May, Center staff will facilitate 10 two-hour professional development (PD) sessions with Pre-K educators, each focused on a different online module that is part of the Conscious Discipline training curriculum. Center staff also will support teachers in implementing the Conscious Discipline practices in their classrooms. About 200 RIDE Pre-K teachers and administrators are participating in the training, and they have been divided into seven groups, or cohorts. Each cohort will work with two Center PD facilitators throughout the year.
RIDE increased the number of state-funded Pre-K classrooms from 60 last year to 78 this year, adding 320 new seats. The state currently funds Pre-K for 1,420 children in 13 communities.