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The Ruler Approach

Novitas Academy is proud to implement the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s, The RULER Approach. The RULER Approach is a comprehensive emotional literacy program that helps to empower and teach individuals to regulate their emotions and find success in their daily endeavours. In order to help create this physically and emotionally safe learning environment, we have implemented an emotional literacy program that reduces bullying, increases attentiveness in the classroom and creates an emotionally safe learning and living environment for those that we serve.

The RULER Approach is made of four different anchors:

  • The Mood Meter
  • Student and Staff Charter
  • Emotional Literacy Blueprint
  • Meta Moment

Each one of these anchors builds upon each other to create emotional literacy and in turn, an emotionally safe environment. The four anchors can be found around the Novitas campus, in the vocabulary of our staff and students, but also throughout the structure of our school. The Charters pictured were created by our staff and students. Our goal is to provide intervention and prevention to help these boys reach their full potential and to become well-rounded, pro-social young men.

RULER teaches the fundamentals for:

  • Recognizing
  • Understanding
  • Labelling
  • Expressing
  • Regulating emotions

The RULER Approach and Bullying Prevention

Bullying is not tolerated at Novitas Academy, and the RULER Approach is an effective tool in preventing the behavior. The tragedies of bullying are rooted, in part, in a failure to regulate emotions effectively. Teaching children how to manage their emotions and how to create and maintain healthy and supportive relationships often is not considered part of the standard school curriculum. But if children cannot handle the many emotions they experience throughout the day—jealousy, anger, excitement, curiosity, loneliness, disappointment, boredom, fear—how can we expect them to concentrate on learning and being kind to others? If children cannot feel empathy for peers who may look, act, or feel differently than them, how can we expect them to critically analyze a character in a text or take others’ needs into consideration? We cannot and we should not. Children need to learn healthy and compassionate options for expressing the range of emotions they experience throughout the day, and The RULER Approach teaches the students the skills needed to accomplish this.

Staff Charter

As the staff of Novitas, each day we want to feel…

In order to feel valued each day, we will use our individual tools and
training to respect and recognize each other’s strengths and accomplishments.

In order to feel inspired each day, we will seek out and create meaningful moments with the students as well as each other.

In order to feel unified each day, we will be receptive to one another’s vulnerabilities and accepting of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, ideas, and passions. We will build an emotionally safe and trusting environment through collaborative problem solving.

In order to strive for excellence each day, we will do our best work and be our best selves. We will take responsibility for our own actions while holding each other accountable for theirs. We will be purposeful in our actions and decisions in order to provide the best experience for everyone involved.

In order to feel altruistic each day, we will focus on others and be grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. We will maintain a heart of peace in all of our interactions. We will accept the challenges and setbacks that accompany striving for the greater good.

In order to prevent and manage conflict each day, we will respect one another’s perspectives, communicate clearly, treat each other as equals, and be solution focused. We will always be open to asking for help, and when providing support, guide one another with care and compassion. We will maintain confidentiality regarding personal issues and refrain from gossiping. When issues do arise, we will address them quickly and with a heart of peace.

Student Charter

As the students of Novitas, each day we want to feel…

In order to feel respected each day we will be kind to each other, speak in a polite and respectful tone, not call each other rude or inappropriate names and not get into physical confrontations. We will treat everyone equally, not be disruptive during class or groups and keep our noise level at appropriate volumes.

In order to feel emotionally safe each day we will lift each other up and not put each other down, we will keep our language clean and refrain from swearing, we will not gossip, bully, steal or lie. We will allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other, we will take time to mentor our peers, and we will be respectful and non- antagonistic to our peers and the staff.

In order to feel joyful each day we will go out of our way to serve others, manage our emotions and participate in the groups and activities presented to us. We will participate in activities that we feel are fun and make us happy, we will try to stay calm instead of get upset and we will remember to be grateful each day.

In order to feel trusted each day we will be honest with each other, not steal or lie and ask when we want to borrow things instead of just taking them. We will have integrity, do what we say we’re going to do, not make promises that we can’t keep and we will keep confidential information confidential.

In order to feel understood each day we will acknowledge each other’s ideas and follow through with making them a reality when possible. We will voice our opinions and ideas in a respectful way and communicate clearly with one another. We will listen intently to each other, talk openly about our feelings and create an environment where we can each be vulnerable and feel comfortable sharing our feelings, thoughts and ideas without fear of judgment or criticism.

In order to prevent and manage conflict we will be proactive, positive, calm and relaxed. We will be assertive in expressing our feelings and have healthy relationships and boundaries. We will be loyal, helpful and find opportunities to make each other’s day. If conflict does arise we will communicate clearly and kindly with each other and seek staff advice if needed. We will try to resolve any conflict without antagonizing or instigating any further argument.

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