Building brighter tomorrows
for the boys of today.

Cherry Gulch seeks to provide the best learning environment for our staff, students and the families that we serve. In order to help create this physically and emotionally safe learning environment, we have implemented an emotional literacy program that reduces bullying, increases attentiveness in the classroom and creates an emotionally safe learning and living environment for those that we serve. As the first therapeutic boarding school to implement the program, we have found it both rewarding as well as effective in its implementation and have realized the tremendous impact that it has on not only our students but their parents and our staff as well. The program is designed to help individuals recognize their emotions and regulate them. The RULER Approach is made of four different anchors that build upon each other to create emotional literacy and in turn, an emotionally safe environment. The four anchors can be found around Cherry Gulch’s campus in the vocabulary of our staff and students, but also throughout the structure of our school. The Charters pictured are one of the four anchors and were created by our staff and students. Our goal is to provide early intervention and prevention to help these boys reach their full potential and to become well-rounded prosocial young men.

The RULER Approach is a comprehensive emotional literacy program that helps to empower and teach individuals to regulate their emotions and find success in their daily endeavors. Mark Brackett, the co-founder of the RULER Approach has been studying emotional intelligence for his entire professional career and has done over a decade’s worth of studies on the program and how it affects classrooms and corporations. RULER teaches the fundamentals for recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating emotions The end result is significantly reduced bullying, higher test scores, and more success in personal and professional endeavors.

The Ruler Approach is an outgrowth of decades of research on emotional intelligence conducted by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This research has proven that emotional skills are integral to personal, social, and academic success. Research supporting the RULER Approach has shown an 11% difference in end of year grades, and a 17% difference in school problems. Hundreds of schools in the United States and abroad have adopted The RULER Approach to successfully integrate social and emotional learning since its’ start in 2005, but Cherry Gulch is the first therapeutic school to implement the program.
The RULER Approach and Bullying Prevention

The RULER Approach and Bullying Prevention

Bullying is not tolerated at Cherry Gulch, and the RULER Approach is an effective tool in preventing the behavior. The tragedies of bullying are rooted, in part, in a failure to regulate emotions effectively. Teaching children how to manage their emotions and how to create and maintain healthy and supportive relationships often is not considered part of the standard school curriculum. But if children cannot handle the many emotions they experience throughout the day—jealousy, anger, excitement, curiosity, loneliness, disappointment, boredom, fear—how can we expect them to concentrate on learning and being kind to others? If children cannot feel empathy for peers who may look, act, or feel differently than them, how can we expect them to critically analyze a character in a text or take other’s needs into consideration? We cannot and we should not. Children need to learn healthy and compassionate options for expressing the range of emotions they experience throughout the day, and The RULER Approach teaches the students the skills needed to accomplish this.

Sources: Letter from Susan E. Rivers, PhD. Co-Developer of The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning