Press Release

CASEL Brings Together Education Leaders to Accelerate SEL Implementation Across the Country

First-of-its kind SEL Fellows Academy launches for school district and regional leaders to build their capacity to lead social and emotional learning across the country.

July 13, 2021

CHICAGO, IL- The urgency for social and emotional learning (SEL) has never been greater as educators navigate complex challenges that emerged from this unprecedented year. Yet, there is an implementation gap. A 2021 report found just one in 10 teachers believe their schools are very successful at developing students’ social and emotional skills.

To address this need, CASEL welcomes 31 school district and regional leaders from across the United States to join a new, annual fellowship that will accelerate SEL in school communities nationwide: the SEL Fellows Academy.

Made possible by The Allstate Foundation, the SEL Fellows Academy is a 12-month engagement that will deepen SEL leadership practices on a personal, interpersonal, and institutional level. Those responsible for advancing SEL in school districts and regional offices of education were invited to apply.

The inaugural cohort welcomes representatives from 31 communities in 17 states that collectively serve close to 1.6 million students, preschool to high school. Their applications showed both an impressive personal and institutional commitment to SEL. The full roster of the 2021 Inaugural Allstate Foundation Cohort can be found here

“The Allstate Foundation is honored to support educators embarking on this journey to empower youth through SEL, which will help youth build critical skills to face challenges and find innovative solutions in our ever-changing world,” said Francie Schnipke Richards, vice president of social responsibility and The Allstate Foundation. “This work will not only impact the students served by these educators but have a ripple effect across entire communities.”

“We are thrilled to launch this new effort, bringing together SEL champions from across the country to deepen their own leadership and their SEL implementation,” said Karen VanAusdal, CASEL’s senior director of practice. “These exceptional leaders are now connected to a national community of SEL practitioners committed to ensuring SEL-rich learning experiences and environments for their young people in partnership with one another and CASEL.”

Throughout the course of the year, SEL Fellows will (1) engage in leadership and coaching strategies to address critical problems of practice, (2) develop an implementation plan with localized action strategies, and (3) learn from a growing network of peers and CASEL experts. The SEL Fellows Academy will also be an opportunity to create, test, and refine practical approaches for SEL implementation, and share those insights broadly to strengthen nationwide efforts.

For over a decade, CASEL has been in research-practice partnerships with large, urban school districts nationwide to study and scale high-quality SEL. The SEL Fellows Academy builds on this success to offer a unique opportunity for rural, suburban, and urban communities to strengthen their SEL expertise in community with one another. Our model combines professional learning with a community of practice to advance SEL toward equity and excellence in all schools.

Learn more about the SEL Fellows Academy, including when applications will open for the 2022 cohort:

CASEL is the nonprofit that founded the field of SEL. Today, we collaborate with leading experts and districts, schools, and states nationwide to drive research, guide practice, and inform policy. More information is available online at The Allstate Foundation accelerates positive change by empowering and educating the most vulnerable, inspiring today’s visionaries and promoting community leadership. More information on The Allstate Foundation is available online or by following @AllstateFDN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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