COVID 19 and Remote Learning

SEL and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated feelings of isolation, stress, loss, and more among young people, adults, families, and communities. Social and emotional learning (SEL) offers a powerful means to support one another during these challenging times as our communities work to address the impact of the pandemic on students’ learning and development.

Now, more than ever, we understand how important it is to demonstrate empathy and resilience, build relationships across distance, and call upon our collective resolve to strengthen our schools and our communities.

So, how can SEL support you and your work during this time? Find resources and guidance in Reunite, Renew, Thrive: SEL Roadmap for Reopening School (July 2020).

Our recommendations follow the four core focus areas for schoolwide SEL and districtwide SEL:

First, create a foundation for SEL.

  • Work with students, families, and communities to envision how education can more holistically support all learners.
  • Prioritize strong, two-way communication between families and schools.

Second, attend to well-being and mutual support among adults.

  • Pay close attention to our own social-emotional needs in order to be the community of adults who best serve our young people.
  • Foster supportive adult relationships to process emotions, share challenges, and offer support to one another.

Third, promote SEL for young people.

  • Provide consistency in daily routines to foster a sense of safety and predictability.
  • Listen to young people and support them in building or maintaining a sense of community and connection.
  • Incorporate social and emotional skill-building into learning (such as CASEL’s SEL 3 Signature Practices).

Fourth, reflect on how things are going and adjust as you learn.

  • Listen to students, families, and your wider community of stakeholders as valuable sources of information about what is or isn’t working.
  • Analyze results with a lens of equity to meet needs using our SEL Data Reflection Protocol

How is CASEL advancing this work?

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Guidance on School Transitions and Reopening

To aid in this time of continued transitions, CASEL collaborated with more than 40 partners to illuminate a way forward through Reunite, Renew, Thrive: SEL Roadmap for Reopening School (July 2020), centered on relationships and built on the existing strengths of a school community. As we prepared for Spring 2021, we offered three strategies adapted from the SEL Roadmap to re-examine efforts for a successful second semester: Refocus on the SEL Roadmap: Actions for a Successful Second Semester (January 2021).

CASEL CARES Webinar Series

In response to the pandemic, CASEL mobilized to provide social and emotional support to our communities and share best practices through an initiative called CASEL CARES. We offered weekly practical guidance and information on topics that were sourced from the field and relevant to the needs of today. Our CASEL CARES Webinars covered a wide range of SEL topics and attracted more than 100,000 people. View the on-demand series

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