With growing concerns around school safety, academic recovery, and mental wellbeing, school district leaders say social and emotional learning (SEL) is their top priority this year. Parents, educators, and students themselves agree that the focus on strong relationships and future-ready life skills are key ingredients to recovery – and demand that education decision-makers listen to and protect every child’s social, emotional, and academic learning.
To that end, 20+ national organizations representing a wide range of education stakeholders, from parents to superintendents, launch Leading with SEL. This coalition is actively championing what we know from three decades of research: Social and emotional learning (SEL) belongs in schools.
The Leading with SEL coalition was created to represent research-based information on social and emotional learning and help broaden awareness of the benefits of supporting the social, emotional, and academic development of all children. Rather than politicize social and emotional learning, coalition members are focused on making sure every student has what they need to succeed in schools, prepare for the future, and achieve their goals.
Recent surveys show that 88 percent of parents want schools to teach social and emotional skills. SEL builds future-ready life skills that are in high-demand by employers, supports mental wellness, helps create safe learning environments, and improves academic achievement.
“Federal and state policymakers, school district leaders, and schools are facing a critical school year as they work to address the urgent needs that have compounded over the course of the pandemic,” said CASEL CEO and president, Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel. “Now, more than ever, we must all be focused on ensuring the next generation of adults have the social, emotional, and academic skills to thrive.”
“Social and emotional learning is essential to a student’s success, as it helps to meet the needs of the whole child and ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “A recent survey commissioned by National PTA found that 76% of parents support schools teaching social and emotional learning. There could not be a more urgent time to support our students both academically and socially and emotionally—and also promote learning environments where all students feel safe, supported and ready to learn.”
“Social, emotional, and behavioral learning supports students’ ability to self-regulate, show empathy, positively engage with peers, problem-solve, and seek help when necessary,” said Dr. Kathleen Minke, Executive Director of the National Association of School Psychologists. “Not only are these life skills critical to adulthood, they are all essential building blocks of mental wellness and provide the foundation for safe and effective learning environments that all of our children deserve. Everyone benefits when we reinforce these skills in schools.”
About the Leading with SEL Coalition: The Leading with SEL coalition is a group of education organizations and associations in support of social and emotional learning (SEL), facilitated by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, in partnership with:
- AASA, The School Superintendents Association
- American Institutes for Research (AIR)
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
- Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)
- Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
- Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
- Committee for Children
- Communities In Schools
- Confident Parents, Confident Kids
- Education Development Center
- Educators for Excellence
- Education Trust
- Highlights for Children
- Learning Heroes
- National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
- National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
- National PTA
- Parents as Teachers
- Pure Edge, Inc.
- School Social Work Association of America
- SEL Providers Association
- Urban Assembly