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CEI Awards MA School Stipend to Implement Heart Centered Learning

Updated: May 27, 2021

By Christine Mason and Jillayne Flanders, CEI Associate


Heart Centered Learning, CEI’s signature approach focusing on 5cs (compassion, courage, consciousness, confidence, and community) is very compatible with the priorities of Dexter Park. According to Principal Chris Dodge, ‘One of our school goals this year is to build a culture of respect and collaboration between adults/students, adults/adults, students/students and school/community, which includes providing PD to staff so that there is consistency in building a classroom community through and responding to challenging behaviors.’ In tandem, Dexter Park’s behaviorist Jan Rowland and Principal


In 2017, Dexter Park was identified as a Massachusetts Innovation School where a focus is raising academic achievement of all students in an inclusive environment. The Dexter Park Innovation School’s Mission Statement is to ‘strive to provide an inclusive environment with instructional practices designed to meet individual needs. All students will be provided with differentiated educational opportunities to increase achievement. Our mission is for all students to gain skills, both academic and social, in order to be successful in the future.’

Over the next few months, Jill Flanders will assist in providing professional development to the school to further teacher understanding of trauma, the neuroscience behind Heart Centered Learning, and how children who have been traumatized can be supported in schools. According to Flanders, “The Heart Centered Learning Curriculum encompasses the best practices in supporting social-emotional development with the most recent brain research, to provide educators with a program for elementary children that is data driven, intertwined with academic skills and essential for enriching the growth of the whole child.”


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