Q: What is the importance of valuing students’ emotional and social health as it relates to academic success?
A: “There is a really big link to the emotional and social part of man in the context of his academic success. Most of the time it was the social and emotional piece that wasn’t allowing them to achieve success,” says Thomas Polak, counselor and philosophy professor at Grand River Academy. “With emotional or social [health], when those are being tended to well, it really creates a space where academic success can take the forefront. If that’s not being tended to, what kind of position is a person in to learn? When there is chaos, whether it’s in their family or their relationships or whatever it is, a man carries that with him. It’s not just going to disappear out of the classroom.”