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[Feature Focus] BASE Education: Firewords™ and Text Deletion

[Feature Focus] BASE Education: Firewords™ and Text Deletion

During my years as an assistant principal, I encountered many students who needed support. Some exhibited behaviors that made their needs obvious, while others managed to hide their struggles until something serious occurred. Here is one example I remember clearly.

Kendra* was a second-time 8th grader with a family history of substance abuse and violence when she ended up in my office again for discipline issues. Knowing her experience with adversity throughout her childhood, we tried a different approach to the situation and just talked—no judgment, no punishment—with the creation of a safe space where she could express how she was feeling and what was currently happening at school and home.

Providing a safe space for emotional expression was certainly more effective than immediately lining up a consequence for the infraction. It elicited some thoughtful responses from Kendra, and we were able to work through a plan for the next time she felt overwhelmed and unable to regulate her emotions in a healthy way. I was able to help Kendra in that situation, but I may have been able to help her sooner, or it may have been unnecessary, if she and all students were deliberately taught social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies to help them better navigate their everyday lives and prepare for the future.

BASE Education is a CASEL designated and evidence-based social-emotional learning platform with curriculum rooted in mental health and wellness principles and underscored by clinical research. As students’ complete courses independently, they are encouraged to respond to questions, share their emotions, and journal about their learning—in essence they’re encouraged to be vulnerable throughout the learning process. Before students ever begin a course, they are also educated on some of the features the program includes, so there’s no “gotcha” moment. Every student response is recorded for teacher review and  the BASE Education platform even includes two key features that ensure that what students share is brought to the attention of the supervising adult even if it’s deleted, and especially if it indicates potential danger.

BASE Education captures and highlights Firewords™

A Fireword™ is any language deemed potentially harmful. As soon as the student writes a Fireword, the educator is notified via both an email trigger and directly within the system that the response needs extra attention. The educator then reviews the word and indicates whether it is benign or dangerous. The Firewords feature is more than an alarm bell; it is intentionally driven by SEL competencies to be an effective element of a SEL program. Being able to address student issues in the moment provides a valuable tool to indicate any number of potential personal or safety issues. If something is on students’ minds enough for them to write about it, having honest conversations about the content can be powerful in addressing the issue.

BASE Education uses a Text Deletion Report to capture all student text

The BASE Education platform captures all text entered by students, even if they delete it. Because BASE Education courses responses that could be emotional or personal, students may write a response and then choose to delete or change it, even if the initial response contained honest sentiments. When this happens, the educator can review all of the text, which is saved, and provide meaningful follow-up. With this window into students’ thoughts and feelings, BASE Education continues to address student needs through the CASEL competencies and enables the supervising adult to respond instantly with appropriate interventions.

BASE Education’s online, CASEL-designated platform enables you to build a school community that weaves social-emotional awareness into every interaction. With the help of tools to better regulate emotions and behaviors, develop stronger relationship skills, build social awareness, and practice critical decision-making, things could play out differently for students like Kendra. Dedicated SEL programs and an SEL-positive school culture can make it so that vulnerable (or all, really) students have the opportunity to feel seen and heard and capable of coping and communicating negative feelings, to hopefully minimize disruptions to their learning and reduce chronic stress.

Learn more about how BASE Education can help students build relationships that are essential to their growth and development in this blog pose, Relationship Is Essential and BASE Education Can Help. If you’re looking for details on our SEL courses, review a listing of all BASE Education courses with detailed descriptions.

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Sian Reilly

Sian joined Edmentum in 2019 and serves as a Senior Marketing Specialist. A former teacher and administrator, Sian believes that individualizing education for the whole learner with quality academic and non-academic curriculum and assessment can powerfully transform students, campuses, and communities. Sian is passionate about connecting educators with content to meet their specific needs in an ever-evolving education environment.