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Social-Emotional Development

Ms. Andrews' Students Wearing Tower Hats

We know that students thrive socially and academically when opportunities for meaningful connection are readily available. 

Tower’s social-emotional curriculum, Responsive Classroom®, builds the essential foundation that enables children and teens to develop deep friendships, resolve disagreements, communicate their needs—or those of a friend—and feel anchored in a community with diverse perspectives.

This character-building education promotes social confidence and meaningful connection, enabling children to recognize a sense of belonging to a community of learners—one in which their ideas and feelings will be heard while knowing how to welcome the ideas and feelings of others.

Tower's Head of Lower School, Liz Buchan

In addition to the character building and social confidence benefits of Responsive Classroom®, teachers instill a set of academic competencies that build academic confidence, including: academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies and academic behaviors.


This mask-free photo was taken before the pandemic.


We know that mindfulness helps children develop the tools they need to self-regulate, an essential skill for successful learning and growth. 

We practice mindfulness at Tower because it affords students an opportunity to pause, reflect, and relax. When children are in control of their bodies and their attention, they can focus entirely on what is before them. 

Students begin the day with a range mindfulness practices. Second graders focus on their thoughts and intentions, using kind words with themselves, sending kindness and friendship outward to others, and setting a positive intention for the day ahead. First graders settle their thoughts and bodies through movement. As often as possible, they make time to get outside for a one mile walk in the backyard. And Middle School students take a moment to breathe, observe their thoughts or emotions without judgement. 

Assessing and managing one’s thoughts and emotions in the moment is a superpower; regular mindfulness practice nurtures such power.

Head of School Serena Wilkie Gifford

First Grade Reading Group

Known and Needed

We are a cohesive community, which means we make time to build peer relationships across grades. We know that the power of a shared greeting in the morning, a friendly exchange in the hallway, or an inclusive gesture at recess all set the tone for a good day. Being known and needed promotes essential feelings of contentment and belonging.

Across the campus, every student contributes their perspective to the classroom discussion each day. Every child's input is needed—and when a child is absent, we know that the experience for their fellow students is impacted. Their absence is felt by the entire class because the discussion is richer when all voices are heard.