Social & Emotional Learning in All We Do

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the key to successfully navigating life and here at Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy), it’s at the heart of all we do. Our tuition-free public K-8 school prepares students for their next steps in life - both academically and socially - and as a result, we incorporate SEL every day.


What is SEL

Research has shown that positive social behavior is one of the greatest predictors of academic success. The better our connections are with each other, the more we will thrive in other areas of our life. Social and Emotional Learning is essentially building great character: 

  • acquiring skills to manage emotions (self-management)
  • nurture positive relationships (relationship skills)
  • make informed choices (responsible decision-making)
  • feel and exhibit empathy (self & social awareness)

What Does SEL Look Like at PACE Academy?

Rather than just hope that scholars pick up positive social behavior as they grow, we explicitly teach SEL through authentic learning engagements. At the school level, it means our teachers incorporate strategies that are good practice for developing the whole child. 

For our K-8 scholars - who are in a period of rapid social growth and change - PACE Academy uses the time-tested Leader in Me program to support student personal development. This approach uses the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® by Stephen Covey, which is highly regarded for its research-backed approach to developing leadership skills and flexible, critical thinkers. Coupled with real-world opportunities to practice pro-social skills, we believe we are dynamically preparing scholars for a socially connected world.

Affirm Greatness

At our tuition-free public charter school, we begin every day with thirty minutes of SEL, called TRIBES Advisory - we’re transformational, respectful, intentional, brave, and empathetic!  We start with our school affirmation and might concentrate on a particular habit (Accountability! How to prioritize!), our monthly character focus, our three Success Tenets, something topical or a little of each. 

Because we are committed to making social and emotional connections every day, it’s easy for us to tell if a scholar seems to be having a hard time. Our entire staff is one big cheerleading team for our scholars and we are here to help in good times as well as challenging ones. We have a Family Support Specialist, behavior interventionists, social workers, paraprofessionals, and counselors here to support our families. You matter.

If a conflict arises, our devoted staff supports students with coaching and guidance aimed at a win-win solution. Learning conflict resolution skills and ways to manage peer pressure can significantly reduce social stress. We care about you!

We Celebrate You

Positive reinforcement is important to us at PACE Academy and we look for ways our scholars are excelling - in academics and in personal development. It could be something like seeing a scholar use compassionate words to express their feelings, perfect attendance (self-management!) or seeing scholars demonstrating the monthly habit we’re teaching. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reinforce the idea that character and social and emotional skills are equally important to academics. 

At our close-knit elementary school, we celebrate our connections and good choices with assemblies, special uniform modifications (jeans!), field trips, and classroom fun. We are a warm and protective environment, building confidence through guidance and encouragement. We see and celebrate you!

Join our amazing community at PACE Academy and enroll today!

About PACE Academy 

Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy) is a tuition-free public charter school serving kindergarten through eighth graders in Southfield, Michigan. At PACE Academy, we empower our scholars to realize their fullest potential through meaningful educational opportunities. We partner with our families and community in preparing our scholars to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century by celebrating the importance of collaboration and accountability in all we do. Join our growing school, enroll today!