June's Top SEL Headlines + New Subscription Option

Learn more about our new premium membership.

Three years ago, as I prepared to enroll in my first graduate school courses, I started exploring various news outlets that covered social-emotional learning. My hope was to find a newsletter that provided subscribers with regular updates about research, policy, and resources from the field of social and emotional learning.

After a fruitless search, I decided to start my own.

I launched This Month in SEL (and Inside SEL) in the summer of 2018 to both deepen my own knowledge of social-emotional learning as well as share SEL-related news with a wider audience.

Since then, our community has grown larger (and more rapidly) than I ever imagined. This newsletter has been shared by educators, caregivers, students, researchers, and policymakers. Our content has been republished by state agencies, think tanks, and education news outlets. I’ve interviewed district leaders and innovators in K-12 and higher education. And, earlier this month, This Month in SEL officially surpassed 30,000 subscribers.

As we continue to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and begin to plan for a critical back-to-school transition in the fall, I’m thrilled to announce a new premium version of This Month in SEL. Supporters will receive a custom version of our monthly newsletter that (in addition to our curation of SEL news and insights) includes exclusive access to:

  • SEL Mastermind Interviews: In-depth discussions with leading SEL researchers and practitioners.

  • Careers in SEL: A supporter-only job board featuring new openings for SEL roles.

  • SEL in Higher Education Database: A private library of initiatives, research, and resources for bringing social-emotional learning to higher education.

50% of the proceeds from paid subscriptions will be donated to non-profit organizations that are advancing social-emotional learning through advocacy and grassroots organizing; the other 50% will go towards paying graduate students and freelancers who donate their time and expertise to contribute to Inside SEL as guest authors.

(This Month in SEL will always be a free publication, and existing subscribers will continue to receive our monthly roundup of news, research, and resources related to social-emotional learning.)

Thank you, as always, for reading, and I am beyond grateful for your continued support in helping to share our resources with friends and colleagues.

-Nick Woolf, Founder

How to Take a “Both And” Approach to SEL and Academics This Summer

Social-emotional learning can help us create safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environments that increase students’ agency, build self-efficacy, and improve academic outcomes.

Although adopting a “both and” mindset when it comes to SEL and academics is a daunting task, doing so is crucial to ensuring that our students feel validated, affirmed, and celebrated as they engage in rigorous instruction this summer.

In this post, I share three strategies to embed SEL within summer school initiatives in your community.

Read More >

5 Learning Gains Made During the Pandemic

“Despite the hardships of pandemic learning there have been bright spots and even many learning gains, say educators. 

While the potential for learning loss is very real, simply comparing students’ scores this year to previous years doesn’t tell the whole story and ignores the difficult but also rich life experiences students have had over the past 15 months.”

Read More >

Developing Students’ Social and Emotional Skills May Be More Important Now Than Ever

“Effective social and emotional learning (SEL) is best encountered not in standalone programs, but within the context of academic lessons and a broader school culture and climate that provides students opportunities to encounter, reflect on, and practice habits of character. Such activities are inclusive and recognize and affirm students’ diverse cultures. The proliferation of SEL programs is based on the recognition that students’ emotions and social contexts are deeply intertwined with their success in school and beyond, including in the labor market.”

Learn More >

Engaging Students in Personally Meaningful SEL 

“Grappling with the barriers to interpersonal connection inherent in remote learning has made us think even more carefully about how we craft lessons for students. Whether online or in person, lessons should promote deeper learning and, ultimately, greater student engagement and learning retention. That’s why it is of paramount importance to apply a social-emotional learning (SEL) lens to all lessons, no matter the subject. This means actively fostering belonging in a safe and welcoming classroom community, engaging students in learning that is relevant to their lives, and helping them grow skills that will enable them to pursue their personal goals.”


Other Headlines:

Inside SEL is now partnered with Spotlight, the first identity-based university ratings service. Please share Spotlight’s survey widely with higher education professionals and students in your network.

This Month in SEL [March 2021]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights from the past month.

This month in SEL: President Biden releases $81 billion to support state efforts to reintegrate students to in-person learning, how to lessen the burden on educators during the pandemic, the Inside SEL team introduces a new partnership with the first identity-based university ratings service… and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free and we would love it if you could share it with friends and colleagues. To access our curated list of resource for educators, parents and school communities related to COVID-19, click here.

Share This Month in SEL

President Biden Announces Delivery of $81 Billion to Aid States in Reopening 

Earlier this month, President Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona outlined steps that the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to help schools safely and quickly reopen and meet the needs of all students.  

One key element of these plans was the release of $81 billion of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to all 50 states to support their efforts to get students back in the classroom safely for in person learning, keep schools open once students are back, and address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students.

Secretary Cardona also announced the launch of a new Summer Learning & Enrichment  Collaborative, a partnership between the Department and the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association, to help states use ARP funding to develop high-quality summer learning and enrichment programs for all students, with a focus on addressing the needs of student groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19.  

Read More >

Turnaround for Children Publishes Science and Equity-Driven Tools for Whole Child School Redesign

To both address the acute academic needs of students today and help to catalyze ongoing growth and social-emotional development, Turnaround for Children recently released a new set of science and equity-driven tools for whole child school redesign. 

Use these resources to help prioritize relationships, meet students' needs in personalized well, facilitate academic growth, and tap into their strengths, interests and talents.

Read More >

The Role of SEL in Reintegrating to In-Person Learning

While reopening and transition plans will take shape differently in every district around the country, it's clear that social-emotional learning (SEL) must be prioritized due to the impacts of the pandemic.

Social-emotional learning can foster a safe, supportive, and equitable environment that grounds students. It can also create the conditions for students to be able to access academic learning when they're back in the physical classroom.

This piece offers six principles to ensure that SEL takes a front seat in the transition to in-person learning.

Learn More >

Caring for Educators During the Pandemic

Educators play a critical role in our communities, but lately—and increasingly— they are burdened with responsibilities more appropriate for other members of the community, such as counselors, social workers, nurses and community organizers. This juggling act is particularly salient in under-resourced communities, where grappling with these issues can be a daily struggle.

Since the onset of the pandemic nearly a year ago, educators have been tasked with addressing new, multi-layered challenges due to the primary and secondary trauma associated with COVID-19. Evidence suggests those responsibilities are taking an emotional toll on these critical members of our communities.

By attending to adults' social and emotional needs while taking a community-wide approach, researchers from the Trauma Sensitive Pedagogy (TSP) project outline how we can reduce the burden on our educators.


Inside SEL Partners with Spotlight—the first identity based university ratings service

Our team at Inside SEL is honored to announce a new partnership with Spotlight, an organization focused on measuring college experiences through the lens of identity. Their mission: to empower people of marginalized populations to make identity-informed life decisions, especially when it comes to choosing a college.

Spotlight's vision is a community, no matter how big or small, where voices are truly heard and equity is a reality. To realize this vision, it will take all of us, and we hope you will join us in the fight for equity.

To all of our readers in higher education or who have colleagues in higher education, please share Spotlight’s survey widely with college students using the link below. To learn how you can get involved, click here or follow Spotlight on Instagram.

Access the survey >

Other Headlines:

This Month in SEL [February 2021]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights from the past month.

This month in SEL: the second annual International SEL Day is less than a month away, CASEL releases a new brief focused on a successful second semester, how the pandemic has changed the role of school counselors… and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free and we would love it if you could share it with friends and colleagues. To access our curated list of resource for educators, parents and school communities related to COVID-19, click here.

Share This Month in SEL

2nd Annual International SEL Day is March 26

The Urban Assembly and SEL4US invite communities across the globe to celebrate the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) on the second annual International SEL Day on March 26, 2021. The theme for this year’s event: Building Bonds, Reimagining Community.

On March 26, 2021, the SEL community will come together to showcase SEL in our communities across the globe, promote SEL to our personal and professional networks, advocate SEL with our policymakers, and support SEL in our schools, organizations and communities.

To learn more about how to get involved as a participant or sponsor, visit the SEL Day website.

Read More >

CASEL Releases a Brief Focused on SEL Strategies for a Successful Second Semester

With the second half of the 2020-21 academic year upon us, prioritizing student and adult social-emotional learning remains as important as ever.

In a new brief released by CASEL—called “Refocus on the SEL Roadmap: Actions for a Successful Second Semester”—district and school leadership teams can explore three social-emotional learning strategies to prepare for a successful second semester. This resource builds on the SEL Critical Practices outlined in CASEL’s July 2020 “Roadmap for Reopening Schools.”

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The Pandemic’s Impact on the Role of School Counselors

A recent study from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) found that the day-to-day challenges of school counselors have shifted significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting access to students in a virtual environment (cited by 68 percent of respondents) and providing counseling to students in a virtual environment (mentioned by 62 percent) include new obstacles. Just a little over half (53 percent) said managing a high caseload was either “challenging” or “extremely challenging.” And 51 percent said it was a continual challenge to close “opportunity and achievement gaps.”

The number of students being advised by each counselor continued to decline, from 455 students for every one counselor, reported in 2019 by the organization, to 430:1 in the latest survey. The optimal ratio recommended by the ASCA is 250:1. Just a quarter of counselors reported that they were responsible for 250 or fewer students.

Learn More >

7 Social-Emotional Learning Jobs Your District Needs to Hire for in 2021

This resource from Panorama Education includes an overview of seven different SEL-related positions that school districts around the country are hiring for, including two emerging roles that are new in 2021.

In addition to a downloadable toolkit with pre-written job descriptions, this article can offer insight into the SEL job market and common titles, roles, and responsibilities that are most trending in districts right now.


Other Headlines:

This Month in SEL [January 2021]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights from January.

This month in SEL: GGSC launches new online SEL courses for educators, Panorama to host a free all-day virtual summit, five ways schools are addressing pandemic-induced mental health issues, and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free and we would love it if you could share it with friends and colleagues. To access our curated list of resource for educators, parents and school communities related to COVID-19, click here.

Share This Month in SEL

Greater Good Science Center Introduces New Online SEL Courses for Educators

Looking for specific strategies and easy-to-implement practices to help you foster social and emotional well-being in your classroom and school?

This suite of practical, self-paced courses includes mini-courses for increasing your foundational knowledge in the fields of social and emotional learning, mindfulness, and character education.

Read More >

5 Ways Schools Are Addressing Pandemic-Induced Mental Health Issues

With dire statistics about how COVID-19 is already impacting the mental well-being of students and school staff, as well as the lingering duration of the public health crisis, administrators and school psychologists are assessing their approaches and planning for more supports where needed. They’re also finding confidence in their growing capacity to respond to the trauma their communities are experiencing.

In this article, clinical psychologists discuss proactive ways schools are addressing students and staff mental health.

Read More >

Panorama Education to Host Virtual Summit: Centering Equity and the Whole Child

On Monday, February 22, join thousands of caring district leaders and educators for Panorama’s Virtual Summit. This free all-day conference will bring together thought leaders, researchers & practitioners to strengthen the belonging, social-emotional learning, equity, and achievement of students, staff, and school communities.

Experience live sessions by renowned speakers like Elena Aguilar and Dr. Tracey Benson, plus a student voice panel and 10+ premium workshops from leading SEL curriculum providers.

Register to receive live Summit access as well as the ability to view presentation recordings for 30 days following the event.

Register >

A Guide for Engaging Students Around Top-of-Mind Issues in 2021

This resource (from America's Promise Alliance) takes a deep dive into issues young people have mentioned as top-of-mind in this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, including navigating a pandemic and their role in fighting for racial justice.


Other Headlines:

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