This Month in SEL [July 2020]

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

ThisMonthinSEL

This month in SEL: CASEL releases a roadmap for reopening school, Transforming Education publishes a new toolkit for educators on SEL, Panorama Education launches new surveys for back-to-school… 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.

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CASEL Releases the SEL Roadmap for Reopening School

In collaboration with 40+ partners, CASEL‘s newest resource is designed to support education leaders in the complex transition back to school this fall. The guide — titled: Reunite, Renew, and Thrive: Social and Emotional Learning Roadmap for Reopening School) — highlights four “SEL Critical Practices,” each with 3-5 supporting activities. Within each activity, readers are asked to consider essential Questions, actions to prepare implement SEL in reopening, and tools to support theses actions.

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Source: CASEL

Access the SEL Roadmap for Reopening School >

Read our team’s analysis >


New Toolkit: SEL for Educators

It is clear that the upcoming school year will unlike any in history. Educators will be tasked with creating positive learning environments where students feel safe, supported and successful, while also addressing their own social-emotional needs. Whether school is in-person, remote, or a hybrid of both, educators are at the core of students’ social-emotional development.

TransformEd’s new SEL for Educators Toolkit is intended to be an accessible and actionable synthesis of the research on the social-emotional learning (SEL) of adults in school settings. By highlighting five high-leverage practices and corresponding strategies, this toolkit translates research to actions that will foster greater awareness, skill development, and embodiment of the competencies we aim to foster in students.

Access the toolkit >


$172 Million Proposed for SEL Funding

The House Appropriations Committee recently released proposed funding for FY21 that includes $172 million for social-emotional learning. The proposed bill increases tunfding for SEL innovation grants, the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program, the School Safety National Activities program, and funding for Full-Service Community Schools.

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Back-to-School Surveys for Students, Families and Educators

As the leading provider of K-12 surveys, Panorama Education recently launched a net set of Back-to-School surveys to help school districts understand student, family, and staff member experiences and feedback during the critical first few weeks of school.

The organization also partners with several leading SEL curriculum providers — such as Second Step, 7 Mindsets, Move This World, CharacterStrong, CREATE, Better Kids, and Open Circle — to give educators access to adaptable lesson plans and activities that are conducive to in-person and virtual learning environment.

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SEL Planning for Reentry from Move This World

This new toolkit from Move This World offers guidance for planning social-emotional learning initiatives for the various potential learning environments that districts are exploring for a safe re-entry to the school year.

The resource includes considerations for SEL in three different learning environments and tips to help you plan for (and facilitate) SEL in those settings.

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This Month in SEL [June 2020]

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

ThisMonthinSEL

This month in SEL: America’s Promise Alliance spotlights the voices of over 100 students on their experiences with social-emotional learning, CFC and CASEL partner to review state COVID-19 responses related to SEL, Panorama Education releases a new set of free surveys to help districts incorporate educator and family feedback into school reopening plans… 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.

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All of Who I Am: Perspectives from Young People About Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Learning

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Published by America's Promise AllianceAll of Who I Am features insights from a qualitative study of over 100 students who describe their experiences with the integration of social, emotional, and cognitive development in exemplar learning settings across the country.

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CASEL and CFC Collaborate to Review State COVID-19 Responses Related to SEL

Earlier this month, CASEL and Committee for Children released “From Response to Reopening: State Efforts to Elevate Social and Emotional Learning During the Pandemic.” The report is based on a review of 37 state COVID-19 responses related to SEL and identifies six recommendations for states to continue their support of SEL as schools transition to the summer and prepare for the fall.

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Planning for a Brighter Future After COVID-19

The Rennie Center's Back-to-School Blueprint is an interactive series of research-based, online action guides to help schools prepare to reopen. The report aims to help schools implement practices that will not only address the pressing issues facing our students right now, but also become building blocks for a more supportive, equitable, and high-performing system in general. 

The Blueprint includes several action guides, which feature a series of priority practices for educators to keep in mind as they plan for the future along with a list of action steps to implement the practice. They also include research, videos, and other key resources educators can use related to topics such as:

  • Helping students heal from trauma;

  • Rebuilding community;

  • Accessing grade-level content, and;

  • Accessing essential services.

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NEW: Free School Reopening Surveys

Following coronavirus (COVID-19) school closures, schools and districts are working quickly to plan for the upcoming school year. 

Will students return to school buildings with strict social distancing measures? Will online learning or distance learning continue through the fall? Will schools use a hybrid learning model to reduce class sizes and prevent coronavirus cases?

To help districts better understand stakeholder voices, Panorama Education's team released a new set of school reopening surveys. The surveys cover key topics including instructional preferences, student supports, staff professional needs, and social-emotional well-being.

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U.S. Pediatricians Call For In-Person School This Fall

The nation's pediatricians have come out with a strong statement in favor of bringing children back to the classroom this fall wherever and whenever they can do so safely. The American Academy of Pediatrics' guidance "strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school." The guidance says "schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being."

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This Month in SEL [May 2020]

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

ThisMonthinSEL

This month in SEL: CASEL shares actionable recommendations to help school leadership teams plan for the social-emotional needs of all students and adults during the summer and eventual transition back into classrooms, Panorama Education launces a new series of free summer virtual learning sessions focused on SEL, the Aspen Institue releases policy recommendations to support social, emotional, and academic development in the pandemic era… and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. To access our curated list of resource for educators, parents and school communities related to COVID-19, click here.

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New CASEL Brief on Reopening and Renewing School Communities 

In this brief, CASEL shares actionable recommendations to help school leadership teams plan for the social-emotional needs of all students and adults during the upcoming transition into summer and the beginning of the new school year. The resource, titled: Leveraging the Power of Social and Emotional Learning As You Prepare to Reopen and Renew Your School Community, comes in advance of comprehensive guidance scheduled for release in late June.

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Panorama Education to Host “Celebrating Resilience: A Summer Series”

This summer, join a virtual community of more than 10,000 practitioners, school leaders and district administrators as the education world works together to serve our students in today’s unique context, prepare our schools for what comes next, and celebrate the resilience of our communities.

As part of Celebrating Resilience: A Summer Series, the team at Panorama Education will be hosting free virtual learning sessions, including weekly:

  • Expert Q&As with district and school leaders;

  • Live Workshops featuring social-emotional learning experts, and;

  • Virtual Meet-Ups to allow individuals in similar roles to connect and share experiences.

Read More & Register >


New Policy Recommendations from the Aspen Institute

This publication includes ten examples of concrete actions that state leaders can pursue now and through the 2020-21 school year and legislative sessions to develop, maintain, and strengthen the crucial connections and relationships that are necessary for learning.

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Building Positive Conditions for Learning at Home: Strategies for Families

Developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), this portral includes a set of strategies and resources that parents can use to create a supportive learning space at home, including tools in both English and Spanish.

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Free SEL Curriculum & Programs to Support E-Learning

CASEL’s SEL Providers Council — a group of organizations providing social-emotional learning curriculum, activities and lesson plans — are providing free resources and curriculum to support e-learning efforts across the country. This webpage includes a listing of all providers and their free content.

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This Month in SEL [April 2020]

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

ThisMonthinSEL

This month in SEL: Jessica Minahan on how to maintain connections and reduce anxiety while schools are closed, Panorama Education offers a new series of surveys to support schools with understanding how students, families and teachers are adjusting distance learning, a team of scientists at the RAND Corporation share tips for keeping students engaged during school closures... and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. If you want to receive our monthly e-newsletter version of this, click here to subscribe.

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Maintaining Connections and Reducing Anxiety While School is Closed

Seemingly overnight, the world changed. Teachers and school leaders have had to revamp their entire instructional systems with, in many instances, only a day's notice. To say many of us are experiencing whiplash, disorientation, and anxiety is an understatement.  Students are feeling it, too; it's highly likely that during a pandemic that heavily impacts everyday life, levels of anxiety in children and teens are even higher, and the possibility of subsequent trauma greater.

In these unprecedented times, teachers are rising to the occasion creatively and quickly to shift to remote learning amidst school closures. This piece from Jessica Minahan -- a behavior analyst, special educator, and international consultant to schools -- is full of actionable strategies for fostering a sense of connectedness with students virtually and helping to reduce student (and adult) anxiety amidst school closures.

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CASEL Offers Free Weekly Webinars As Part of "CASEL CARES" Initiative

As the country and the world absorb the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), our interconnectedness has never been more clearly on display. SEL offers a powerful means to support one another – children and adults – during this challenging time. Now, more than ever, we understand how important it is to demonstrate empathy and resilience, build relationships across distance, and call upon our collective resolve to strengthen our schools and our communities.

CASEL CARES is a new initiative that connects the SEL community with experts to address how SEL can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstances. In addition to a growing resource list, CASEL is offering weekly webinars with experts in the field of SEL who are sharing advice and guidance during this difficult time.

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Panorama Education Introduces New Distance Learning Surveys

With the rapid shift to distance learning this spring, community needs are greater than ever. Yet, it's arguably more difficult than ever before to target resources to those who need them most.

To help support districts in their efforts to support students, families, and educators, Panorama Education launched a new, comprehensive set of surveys to assist with gathering (and taking action on) feedback regarding distance learning. These surveys are designed to help districts understand and address: (1) teacher and staff feedback about personal and professional needs, student engagement, and family communication; (2) student needs in terms of distance learning, well-being and SEL, and; (3) family and community needs.

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CHECKLIST: Building Developmental Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis

Research indicates that when young people experience developmental relationships with parents, educators, youth program staff, and other adults their outcomes are better, their risk behaviors are lower, and they are more likely to be on the path to thrive in life. This checklist from the Search Institute outlines why staff in schools and youth programs do not need to and should not stop seeking to build developmental relationships with young people while they are at home during the nation’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and covers how to help young people weather this storm.

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ANALYSIS: How to Keep Students Engaged and Tend to Their Social-Emotional Health During School Closures

A schools across the country close, many are looking to online models for sustaining instruction. Parents, policymakers and others have numerous concerns about the resulting effects on academic learning, child care, food security and the financial implications for staff whose positions become unnecessary during closures.

One additional concern that educators should consider as the crisis continues is the likely effect of these changes on students’ social and emotional well-being.

This article -- authored by a team of scientists and policy researchers at the RAND Corporation -- includes some recommendations for school staff and leadership to consider with regards to keeping students engaged and supporting their social and emotional health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This Month in SEL [March 2020]

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

ThisMonthinSEL

This month in SEL: the global social-emotional learning community comes together to celebrate the first annual International SEL Day, various organizations step-up to provide support for parents and educators during school closures, CharacterStrong announces an April virtual summit on educating the whole child... and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. If you want to receive our monthly e-newsletter version of this, click here to subscribe.

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The Global Education Community Celebrates International SEL Day

Back in January, The Urban Assembly and SEL4US invited communities across the world to celebrate the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) on the first annual International SEL Day this past Friday, March 27.

This momentous day saw social media posts reach nearly 2 million individuals, including support from actor Bryan Cranston and participation from 15 countries -- from the United States to Kuwait to Guatemala to Brazil. It was amazing to see so many people, schools, organizations and influencers come together to raise awareness for the impact and influence of social-emotional learning, and we look forward to supporting the second annual event next March!

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Organizations Support Parents & Educators During School Closures

As the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread, schools around the world are rapidly pivoting to support children’s health and well-being. As districts shift to online learning, parents, educators and school leaders are searching for ways to continue prioritizing children’s social and emotional development at home.

The month of March saw numerous organizations within the field of social-emotional learning rise to the occasion and provide free resources, professional development, and guidance to parents, educators, and children in need. A few highlights include:

In these times of fear and uncertainty, it is energizing and inspiring to see the education community come together to find ways to support our students.

You can read our full list of social-emotional learning resources for parents, educators and school communities related to COVID-19 here >


CharacterStrong To Host Virtual Whole Child Summit in April

From April 13 to 24, CharacterStrong will be hosting an online conference focused on social-emotional learning: The Whole Child Virtual Summit. The event will include 10 total days of free video content, with keynote sessions from experts such as Angela Duckworth, Akil Ross, Amy Fast, and Clayton Cook.

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Learn More & Register Here >


STUDY: Boosting Soft Skills Is Better Than Raising Test Scores

In a large study of more than 150,000 students in all 133 of Chicago’s public high schools, a team of education researchers calculated that schools that build social-emotional qualities such as the ability to resolve conflicts and the motivation to work hard are getting even better short-term and long-term results for students than schools that only boost test scores. The schools that develop soft skills produced students with higher grades, fewer absences and fewer disciplinary problems and arrests in high school. Later, the students who attended these high schools graduated and went to college in higher rates.

“What we’re showing is that schools that actually cause kids to become more gritty, those kids tend to be likely to persist more in college.”

-- Kirabo Jackson, Economist at Northwestern University

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