October 2018

Monthly Archives

  • Continuously Improving SEL in an Out of School Time Program

    Excel Beyond the Bell is a network of out-of-school-time (OST) providers in San Antonio, Texas, that serves more than 55,000 youth per year. As of November 2017, 25 of Excel Beyond the Bell’s providers administer the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP) to 1,200 students twice a year, generally during March and October. The Excel team uses these data to foster continuous improvement in their network by determining where supports may be needed and when resources may exist. Why did you choose this measure? Our OST network wanted to find a tool that could do two things: (1) analyze SE competencies at various levels (e.g., student and program) and (2) provide data universal enough for use across the many OST programs we […]

  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SEL Assessment But Were Afraid to Ask

    By: Clark McKown, xSEL Labs Reposted from EdSurge For anyone who cares about student social-emotional development, this is an exciting time. Many school-based social-emotional learning (SEL) programs are widely used, for example. And a growing number of states are integrating social-emotional expectations into their educational standards. When these programs are well-implemented, they have academic, social, and emotional benefits. Recognizing this, organizations are investing in initiatives and partnerships designed to bring school-based SEL programs to scale. Up until recently, something has been missing. Specifically, there have been few useful tools with which to assess SEL. This has left educators at a distinct disadvantage. Without good assessment, it’s hard for district decision-makers to decide what resources to invest in; it’s hard for […]

  • One District’s Journey: From Commitment to Assessment

    By: Christine Igoe and Lisa Xagas, Naperville District 203 Background Information Naperville Community School District 203 (D203), located in the western suburbs outside of Chicago, serves nearly 17,000 EC-12 students. In the 2013-2014 school year, the district spearheaded a community engagement series to gather feedback and input for developing Focus 2020, the district five year strategic plan.  At that time, the community, families, and staff expressed the need to educate the whole child to ensure students learned not only academic content but also gained the social-emotional skills necessary to be successful in life.  As a result, the journey towards a comprehensive social-emotional learning plan became a key initiative within the district five year strategic plan. Initial planning began by establishing […]

  • If the brain connects social, emotional, and academic learning, why don’t we do so more intentionally?

    By: Dale A. Blyth, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota   The National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development recently released an excellent new report entitled  The Brain Basis for Integrated Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: How Emotions and Relationships Drive Learning.  The report summarizes and illuminates the growing understanding of how the brain develops and functions generally and especially during learning.  Not surprisingly it notes that brain development supports learning but also that learning supports brain development.   One thing I found particularly interesting was the discussion of how what makes us human is not fully spelled out in a more elaborate set of genes than other creatures but rather the flexibility and dynamic way our interactions with the environment […]

  • Council Bluffs Community School District Uses SEL Assessment to Facilitate Conversations with Students

    Council Bluffs Community School District in Council Bluffs, Iowa, serves 9,000 students. In September 2017, they began using the Panorama student survey and teacher measure in their 6th- to 12th-grade classrooms. It is administered digitally during their advisement period and takes about 20 minutes. The developer collects the data and provides reports with grade-, school- and district-level trends. Why did you choose this measure? In early 2016, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Corey Vorthmann met with administrators and teacher leaders and developed a profile of a graduate ready for the future that contained social emotional indicators as well as academic indicators. They wanted a system that uses the CASEL framework to provide a common language, that would be specific enough for […]

  • Stronger Teacher-Parent Relationships Lead to Better Social and Emotional Assessments and Learning

    By: Jennifer Miller, Shannon Wanless, and Roger Weissberg Parents, teachers, and other influential adults agree that social and emotional learning is essential for children’s growth and indeed success today and for their future. Although they agree on the importance, they can run into challenges when attempting to work together to assess and support these skills. The purpose and role of social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments are particularly important because the very act of assessing can help parents and teachers learn how to best scaffold children’s learning as they move forward in their development. When educators and parents learn from one another about how social and emotional skills are visible and promoted in their various contexts (home, school, community), they can […]