At the start of the unprecedented 2020-2021 school year, many schools prioritized or re-prioritized social and emotional learning (SEL) to foster the competencies and learning environments that students and adults need to reunite, renew, and thrive. Entering the second half of the school year, many students were making new transitions -- from distance learning back to in-person learning, or vice versa -- and SEL remained as important as ever.

What did we learn from the first semester of schooling during the Fall and how should educators adjust their approaches going forward? This updated brief focuses on three strategies, adapted from our initial guidance (Reunite, Renew, and Thrive: Social and Emotional Learning Roadmap for Reopening Schools). It is based on insights into how school districts nationwide have prioritized SEL this year. Each strategy includes action steps and tools:
  • Partner with staff, students, families, and communities to examine data from the first semester on students’ and adults’ experiences and social, emotional, and academic outcomes.
  • Refocus on adult connections, self-care, competencies, and capacity.
  • Maintain safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments … and continuously promote all students’ social and emotional development.

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