The state’s largest school district, Anchorage School District (ASD) has been a national leader in social and emotional learning (SEL) for years, first embracing the model more than two decades ago. Since then, ASD has moved SEL from the creation of standards adopted by the school board to a core way of doing business across the district. SEL is visible in direct instruction and the infusion of SEL strategies within instruction, respectful and safe school climates, student and staff pride in the district’s diversity, the integration of adult SEL skills into staff meetings and professional development, the modeling of SEL by the superintendent and leaders, and a decision-making process that includes students and community members. ASD is in Year 3 of districtwide MTSS SEL/Behavior implementation, providing curriculum and strategies professional learning for K-12 site staffs on Foundations, CHAMPS, Connected & Respected, Second Step, Lions Quest, and Capturing Kids Hearts.
SEL in Action
Building capacity: An SEL leadership team of 30 leaders from the classroom to the superintendent guides this work. Work groups have been formed to support focused attention on a range of initiatives, including the following efforts:
- The district embedded SEL instructional strategies into leadership meetings and professional development sessions and modules.
- The SEL team works with all departments and schools to broaden the scope of implementation.
- A Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) approach integrates SEL curriculum and strategies with Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS).
- Tools and professional learning have been developed to show educators how SEL strategies align to the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching to improve the effectiveness of instruction and create a positive school experience for all students.
Data drives action: The district uses multiple sources of SEL data for reflection, action, and improvement.
- A summative School Climate and Connectedness Survey of parents, teachers, and students assesses SEL, climate, and safety.
- Ongoing development of our SEL Walk-Through rubric and tools.
District Reported Results
2018 Family Engagement Survey
- 85% of elementary parents who completed the survey recommend their child’s school to others.
- 82% of middle school parents who completed the survey recommend their child’s school to others.
- 79% of high school parents who completed the survey recommend their child’s school to others.
2018 staff survey
- 85% of staff who were surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that staff at their site have a positive attitude.
2018 Grades 6012 student survey
- 77% of students surveyed responded favorably when asked if they know ways to calm themselves down.
- 91% of students surveyed responded favorably when asked the question do you know what is right or wrong?
ASD provides a data dashboard from student, staff, and family surveys.
(Survey: March 2018)
In the News
Aligned in Anchorage:
After three decades, SEL is now embedded throughout the Anchorage School District — and not just in pockets of excellence. (Article: Aug 2018)
ASD and University of Alaska-Anchorage have developed a strong working relationship to improve in-service learning.
(Interview: Feb 2017)