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XSEL Program Provides Extra Support to Younger Students

For students who need a little more support, the Elementary Social Emotional Learning program – also known as XSEL – will welcome them with open arms.

The program’s name is pronounced “excel” and officially kicked off in January 2021. It was originally planned to start in August of last year, but because of hybrid scheduling and Aiken Innovate, there was a delay.

XSEL was created to help younger students identify social and emotional triggers by teaching the student to self-regulate and overcome behavioral challenges, according to the Aiken County Public School District.

“I feel like we have had success,” said Beth Taylor, director of XSEL. “We’ve been able to transition some of our students back into their home school with a lot of good results, we’ve been able to build some good relationships with some families so that they feel supported, as well; and we’ve been able to help both our students, our schools and our community in that regard.” 

Taylor said students are enrolled in the program for a minimum of nine weeks, and she welcomes all children.

“Any student that comes to us that requires additional services, whether that be special education, ESOL or any other type of service, would receive those services,” Taylor said.

Students have to be recommended by their home school to enroll in the program. There are highly trained teachers and behavior technicians who support the students and families so that they are able to work on their behaviors, then go back to their schools.

The certified general education teachers provide the same instruction at the same pace as the other Aiken County Public School District general teachers, Taylor said.

“Our ultimate goal is to work with the student as long as it takes to help them be successful and not have to return; but if a return is necessary, then absolutely, we would welcome that student back with open arms to try some more intervention,” Taylor said.

Read the full Aiken Standard article here

Shakailah Heard/Aiken Standard