Collaborating Districts Initiative

In 2011, CASEL took an unprecedented step: an initiative to study and scale high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) in complex school systems.

To guide quality implementation, CASEL launched the Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI) in 2011 to partner with school districts across the country and support their efforts to implement social and emotional learning (SEL).

The initiative took an unprecedented step with SEL: study and scale high-quality, evidence-based SEL in eight of the largest and most complex school systems in the country. Its goal was to create a comprehensive shift in how superintendents and entire school districts approach education.

In the decade since its launch, the CDI has expanded to include 20 school districts across the U.S that collectively serve almost 1.8 million students. Our work has confirmed and fortified our initial belief that systemic SEL implementation is not only possible, it is sustainable and powerful.

As the name implies, the CDI is a truly collaborative endeavor. Our partner districts are pioneers in building understanding about and knowledge of systemic SEL implementation. Central to the initiative is the idea of co-learning: we have worked closely with the CDI districts to hypothesize, field test, and document the best practices for SEL implementation. They have bravely undertaken new modes of working with their staff, students, families, and communities to forge a new path to create supportive, enriching education environments where students thrive.

The bottom line: When implemented systemically, SEL can undergird all other educational priorities in ways that shape the district’s staff culture, family and community partnerships, and student outcomes.

Participating Districts:

  • Anchorage, AK
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Dupage County, IL
  • El Paso, TX
  • Guilford, NC
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Oakland, CA
  • Palm Beach, FL
  • Sacramento City, CA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Warren City, OH
  • Washoe County, NV

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