A Rural District Model: DuPage Regional Office of Education (DROE)
In 2010 the DROE, a county educational entity that serves 42 school districts, partnered with the CASEL to develop successful strategies to support the implementation of high-quality SEL as an integral component of school improvement. Since 2010, the partnership with CASEL has supported 21 districts and two special education schools in the implementation of SEL, serving a total of 169 schools and 107,107 students.
SEL in Action
Diverse needs and common threads: While each district served by the DROE has approached the SEL implementation process based on its needs and resource assessment, common elements shared among the districts include:
- Commitment and resources at the central office level to support district-level and building-level implementation.
- Participation by each district in the SEL network to learn, share resources, and improve practice.
- An SEL leadership team that has attended an SEL workshop and has the capacity to lead the implementation process at the building level.
- The embedding of SEL in the school improvement process.
- A focus on enhancing adult SEL competencies to foster relationships among staff and students and ensure a safe, caring learning environment.
- Annual use of the CDI rubric to monitor the SEL implementation process.
Districts in cohorts 1–7 have adopted an evidenced-based program, while cohort 8, the newest member of the partnership, has not yet focused on teaching SEL skills.
Discipline and climate: Most schools in these cohorts have limited discipline issues, but the districts report a decline in discipline referrals after improving adult competencies and teaching students the SEL skills. Several districts report an improved climate, as measured by the 5 Essentials, as adults increase their own competencies and improve their abilities to collaborate with peers.
Reporting and planning: Each team provides an annual SEL report to the Board of Education. In Districts 20, 2, 200, 203, 86, 11, 66 and 204, SEL was highlighted in the strategic plan and supported by the entire community.
Opportunities to learn and share: The professional network learning community has successfully provided districts the opportunity to learn from each other and professionals outside of DuPage. Speakers have included Marc Brackett, Dorothy Espelage, Jeremy Taylor, Shelly Berman, Roger Weissberg, Deidre Farmbry, and Clark McCown.
In addition, CASEL consultant Deidre Farmbry has worked with district superintendents to learn more about issues of equity, CASEL consultant Hector Montenegro supported District 203 in understanding how SEL supports ELL students, and CASEL consultant Linda Lantieri provided professional learning to District 203 on adult competencies. DROE hosted RULER training for DuPage and Chicago area district teams. Parent/community and student support has been provided by working with the nonprofit Authentic Me.
Districts also present their achievements. During some of these presentations, District 89 presented their end-of-the-year SEL standards for students in gradeK-8 with rubrics to measure growth, District 203 showed how they successfully integrated SEL standards with all district content objectives, District 45 showed a video that described how community partners supported SEL, and District 200 explained the Financial Sustainability report.
Being Life Ready
Hinsdale identifies what kids need to succeed in order to be academically ready and life ready with this infographic on SEL and growth mindsets.
SEL in DuPage
Check out DuPage Regional Office of Education’s new partnership website on SEL.
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