Emotionally Responsive Practice

NBFA is the state’s only progressive Pre-K through 8th-grade public charter school with emotionally responsive practices (ERP). This student-centered approach weaves mental health strategies into every classroom while encouraging experience-based learning and inspiring children to make sense of the world around them through hands-on activities both inside and outside the classroom.


Definition of ERP:  ERP is a trauma-informed approach grounded in a deep understanding of child development and acknowledgement of the role that students’ life experiences play in their ability to learn.


Core Beliefs: 

1. Children need adult partners to master foundational developmental milestones for social and emotional well being and learning. 

2. Strong and supportive relationships with adults at school equip children to regain balance and create greater receptivity to learning.

3. Children whose teachers are warm and empathic are more likely to develop positive peer relationships.

Key Pillars of ERP (Click "ERP at NBFA" link below for more detail):
1. Personal Wellness
2. Empathic Relationships and Safe Spaces for Children
3. Balanced Classrooms and Predictability
4. Self-Regulation for students


Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) New Beginnings Family Academy believes that building relationships with students and understanding what their needs are is central to educating the whole child. Thus, NBFA makes sure staff members are trained and have continued access to coaching in SEL based relationship-building techniques.

As a member of Bank Street’s Community of Emotionally Responsive Schools, NBFA offers emotionally responsive practices to ensure students’ emotional and academic needs are being met. The emotionally responsive curriculum allows teachers and staff to address unresolved issues and enhance children's attention and motivation for learning.

"NBFA is one of a small number of charter schools that has made the emotional well-being of its children a priority, so important in these stressful times. This school knows that children learn best when they feel safe. NBFA is committed to integrating Emotionally Responsive Practices into both virtual and in-person classroom experience, to enhance a feeling of social and emotional connection in the community of children it serves."
-Lesley Koplow, LCSW
Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street College of Education


Some of our SEL goals are to:

  • Deeply understand our students and their needs by building meaningful relationships in the classroom.
  • Provide integrated instruction that makes learning exciting and relevant to students.
  • Facilitate learning in a way that affirms and respects students’ individual needs, styles, and interests.
  • Weave emotionally-responsive practices into all of our classrooms to enable all students to learn optimally.
While we are a community school that provides support services aimed at addressing issues that can impede learning, we are NOT a therapeutic school.