Estabrook School’s K-5 students receive direct instruction in social-emotional learning from classroom teachers in their weekly Class Meetings, as well as through universal lessons delivered by other specialists in our school community. The summaries and links below include some of the curriculum and approaches that students experience at our school.

All students participate in these learning opportunities:


All Estabrook students participate in Counseling Lessons designed and delivered by Lexington’s Counseling Department faculty to promote social-emotional learning and pro-social behaviors.  These student-centered modules are focused on the developmental needs of each grade level.

Topics for Counseling Lessons include:

  • Kindergarten: Identifying Feelings
  • Grade 1: Coping With Feelings
  • Grade 2: Empathy and Group Work
  • Grade 3: Healthy Friendships
  • Grade 4: Stress Reduction and the Brain
  • Grade 5: Problem-Solving Skills

Click here for a list of books and videos used in the Counseling Lessons.


Our K-5 students participate in developmentally-appropriate lessons that are offered collaboratively by classroom teachers, as well as by faculty members from the Library, Counseling and Instructional Technology Departments. Many of the lessons are incorporate resources for schools and families that are available online at Common Sense Media.

Themes of the Digital Citizenship Curriculum are:

  • Leave a Positive Digital Footprint
  • Be Safe Online
  • Be Respectful and Responsible
  • Be Kind Online
  • Give Credit; Cite Work
  • Find What You Need

Click here to learn more about Digital Citizenship at Estabrook School.

Many faculty incorporate these approaches into their weekly Class Meetings and classroom routines. Some of our specialists also utilize these resources for their prevention and intervention work:


Estabrook School is a Responsive Classroom school.  The Responsive Classroom approach is a widely used, research-based way of teaching that emphasizes social, emotional and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. Developed by classroom teachers, this approach is based on the belief that integrating academic and social-emotional skills creates an environment where students can do their best learning.

A few of the Responsive Classroom guiding principles are:

  • Social-emotional curriculum is as important as academic curriculum.
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn.
  • To be successful academically and socially, children need to learn a set of social and emotional skills: cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy and self-control.


The core of the K-5 Open Circle curriculum integrates research findings in child development with the best teaching practices. The curriculum’s holistic approach involves training the adult role models in a child’s life to teach and embody principles of communication, responsibility, cooperation, respect and assertiveness. These principles are essential for helping children foster healthy relationships.  Children become more engaged and thoughtful citizens so they can enjoy productive, fulfilling lives. Many of our faculty are Open Circle trained.


Individuals with a growth mindset see their basic qualities as things that can be developed over time through hard work, perseverance and dedication. These individuals believe that nothing has ever been accomplished without years of practice and learning.  Individuals with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, believe that they are born with a certain amount of brains or talent and no amount of practice or work can change that.  The faculty and staff at Estabrook School strive to instill a growth mindset in each of our students. We praise the process of learning and making mistakes. It is through this process that students learn to persevere when a task is seemingly difficult. Students begin to feel more comfortable facing learning challenges and they may even be ready to seek out new learning challenges as a result.


Social Thinking helps children to understand “how to behave based on where we are and what we are expected to do at that time.” Understanding what is expected in any situation supports children in thinking about their own behavior, how it impacts others and ultimately themselves. At school, children can apply these learned skills to understand what is expected on the playground, at lunch or in the classroom.


The Zones of Regulation curriculum is intended to increase a child’s awareness of themselves by strengthening their ability to identify and regulate their emotions. The curriculum uses simple and concrete tools to categorize emotions, which increases a child’s ability to access the material. Emotions are categorized into groups called “zones,” which are then differentiated by color, specifically; the green zone, blue zone, yellow zone and red zone. Zones of Regulation helps children to label what they are feeling, and to match their reaction to the size of the problem. The curriculum also focuses on how their brain and body feel in each zone, and helps children develop tools to change which zone they are in, when warranted, to maintain regulation. It is great for our elementary students with various learning styles.