The Empire Program provides holistic before and after-school programming at each district elementary school that balances family need and student interest while striving towards improving academic achievement, developing social and emotional wellness skills and developing a sense of connectedness within the Monticello community with partnerships inclusive of the Boys and Girls Club and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Social & Emotional Wellness (SEW)
The Emma C. Chase Elementary School recognizes that social, emotional and behavioral issues can impact learning and academic performance.
To further support student success, the school has a Social Emotional Wellness (SEW) Facilitator to assist in identifying and meeting students’ social, emotional and physical needs.
As SEW Facilitator, Mrs. Maryann Swensen plays a critical role in supporting the school in the implementation of a wellness regime that focuses on the whole child, whole school and whole community. As the SEW facilitator, Mrs. Swensen conducts a push-in program in all fourteen Chase Elementary School classrooms on a four-day rotation. She teaches lessons on social emotional wellness, which address topics such as identifying feelings and appropriate expression, social skills, teamwork, empathy, compassion, anti-bullying and respect. She also incorporates yoga and mindfulness activities into her lessons as a way to teach our students strategies to self-calm, focus, and become more in tune with their bodies and emotions. Each teacher participates with Mrs. Swensen in her lessons.
The benefits of social emotional learning are vast, and they include helping the students to find an outlet for their feelings. When they are able to accomplish this, they are more able to focus on learning. It also helps them to deal with social conflict and feel a stronger sense of community and belonging in our school. Mrs. Swensen also carries her lessons over into the Library where she instructs Kindergarteners and Mrs. Crofoot’s class.
Mrs. Swensen is not only an employee, but a member of the local community. She decided to start substitute teaching when her youngest of three daughters, started kindergarten. Her love of children grew, which encouraged her to pursue her Master’s Degree in Teaching. After many years of subbing, she joined the district as a full time fourth grade teacher in the 2014/2015 school year at The Rutherford School. Helping students to understand and regulate their emotions, makes them ready to learn and in turn perform at their best level. She is very excited to witness the positive effects of the program on the students.
Outside of school Mrs. Swensen enjoys bike riding, pickleball, and spending time with her family.