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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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 >

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