At Assumption-St. Bridget School, we strive to ensure that our students are receiving a well-rounded education that promotes holistic development and growth. Academics are an important part of that development and growth, but so are other facets of your child’s life, including their spiritual, social, and emotional selves. Another key developmental area is in something called executive functioning. Alhough there are many different models and definitions of executive functioning skills, researchers agree that these skills are developmental, brain-based skills that originate in the prefrontal cortex and are necessary for learning and intellectual development to occur. Executive functioning skills are not related to “intelligence”, but are responsible for an individual’s ability to manage and control their thinking, emotions, and actions. Children are not born with executive functioning skills, but researchers have found that these skills begin to emerge and develop even within the first year of life.
From Prekindergarten through 8th grade, much of what a student is able to accomplish is a direct result from the influence of their developing executive functioning skills. At Assumption-St. Bridget School, we keep on the lookout for the following skills, which greatly influence student achievement and well-being:
|Executive Functioning Skill:||Definition:|
|Response Inhibition||the ability to control one’s impulses|
|Emotional Control||the ability to manage emotions appropriately|
|Sustained Attention||the ability to hold focus on what matters|
|Organization||the ability to manage one’s materials|
|Flexibility||the ability to adapt to situations and changing circumstances|
|Goal-Directed Persistence||the ability to persevere over time to reach desired outcomes|
|Working Memory||the ability to hold information in your mind while working on a task|
|Task Initiation||the ability to get started on a task in a timely manner|
|Planning/Prioritization||the ability to create an action plan for accomplishing a goal|
|Time Management||the ability to undertstand time and how it relates to task completion|
|Metacognition||the ability to think about, understand, and evaluate one’s own thinking|
Executive functioning skills take time and energy to develop, and our Assumption-St. Bridget School staff believes in the importance of explicit teaching, practice, and reinforcement of these skills in the daily lives of students. Just as in academics, we strive to facilitate one year of growth in executive functioning skills in each of our students every academic year. To support the development and the growth of our students’ skills, Assumption-St. Bridget School utilizes a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) that systematically manages all efforts to create a supportive, enriching, skill-building, and informative executive functioning experience for our students and families. In this model, all students and families benefit from programming, with additional levels of support and enrichment afforded to students and families who demonstrate need.
If you are concerned about your child’s progress in the area of executive functioning and believe that he or she needs further support or enrichment to make adequate growth, your first step would be to contact your child’s homeroom teacher. Your child’s teacher can speak with you more about what your child demonstrates within the context of the general classroom, specialist classes, and the playground. If you continue to have concerns that your child has a suspected disability or needs more services in the areas of executive functioning, your child’s homeroom teacher and a member of the Assumption-St. Bridget School Student Success Team can assist you in next steps.
We look forward to providing all students with the programming, support, and enrichment needed to ensure they develop these important skills that not only ensure immediate success, but set our students up to be successful students, workers, friends, and leaders in high school and the work force. If you would like to speak to someone about our executive functioning enrichment and support programming, please contact Elee McCarthy, Director of Student Success, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kathleen Conklin, Assumption-St. Bridget School Principal, at email@example.com.
We look forward to serving you!