What we do
Skills that Matter
Based on our own Lives Over Time research as well as research in the field, there are eight qualities that are correlated with postsecondary success and independence. These are the skills that support an individual’s ability to successfully navigate whatever life throws at them. Research and experience demonstrates that these are not exclusively inherent qualities but skills to be developed and employed.
Defining the QSIL
- Resilience: The student is able to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change by becoming strong and healthy in response to such experiences.
- Social Responsibility: The student is a consistently effective and helpful member of the community. Whether in the classroom, school halls, neighborhood, or world, the student goes out of their way to help all members of the community. The student displays empathy for others and acts as a role model among peers.
- Self-Advocacy: The student consistently represents himself/herself by appropriately asking for assistance inside and outside of the classroom. This may include requesting clarification of assignments and expectations, specific materials, or accommodations. The student is able to identify the appropriate person to assist with his/her needs.
- Self-Regulation: The student is able to remain goal-directed across time, even in the face of difficult situations, and emotions such as boredom, annoyance, or frustration. The student displays impulse control in his/her decisions to either stop or initiate action.
- Self-Reflection: The student is reflective and self aware. The student has a conscious knowledge of his/her own character, strengths, weaknesses, feelings, motives, and desires, and is thoughtful about how these influence his/her actions and responses. The student is able to look back at actions, decisions, and creations, assess effectiveness, recognize areas in need of change, and apply this knowledge to similar situations in the future.
- Social & Communication Skills: The student consistently both responds and adapts to diverse situations, and understands how to communicate his/her needs and ideas to others without external structures of support. The student possesses the necessary tools to make choices that will strengthen his/her interpersonal relationships, success in school and within the community. The student identifies and utilizes problem-solving, interpersonal, and conflict resolution skills.
- Problem-Solving: The student is an adaptive, creative and effective problem-solver. When faced with an academic or social challenge, the student is able to step back, analyze the problem, and come up with a creative solution appropriate to the situation. If the first solution is unsuccessful, the student is able to devise and implement a different one.
- Management & Organization: The student is able to prioritize, organize, and complete tasks effectively and efficiently. He/she arrives on time to school, classes, appointments and other commitments, and is ready to participate. Assignments are handed in on the due date and meet the requirements specified. The student’s materials (such as notes, homework, class work, books, binder) and belongings are organized and easily accessible at all times.
What We Do
WPS educators and leaders work each day to explicitly facilitate and encourage the development of these skills in our students. As with learning goals related to reading, writing, and math skills, QSIL objectives are developed for each student based upon their individual needs and strengths. The development of these skills are fostered through explicit instruction integrated throughout all facets of a student’s day as well as continually assessed through a data-based approach.