At the start of this unprecedented school year, schools faced the layered impact of schools closures, COVID-19, and racial inequities amplified by nationwide mobilization for racial justice. To aid in the transition, 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.
Refocus on the SEL Roadmap Brief (Jan. 2021)Back to top
As we enter the second half of the year, we offer three strategies adapted from the SEL Roadmap to re-examine efforts for a successful second semester. Download the Refocus on the SEL Roadmap: Actions for a Successful Second Semester.
- Partner with staff, students, families, and communities to examine data from the first semester.
- Refocus on adults.
- Maintain supportive learning environments and promote students’ SEL.
How to Use the SEL RoadmapBack to top
The SEL Roadmap is designed to support school leaders and leadership teams in planning for the transition back to schools, in whatever form that takes. While this guidance is written for schools, states and districts will also play critical roles.
There are four SEL Critical Practices, each with 3-5 activities. Within each activity, users are guided through Essential Questions, Actions to Prepare & Implement, and Tools to Support the Actions. You’ll also find Guidance to Sustain the Work. Critical Practices include:
- Take time to cultivate and deepen relationships, build partnerships, and plan for SEL.
- Design opportunities where adults can connect, heal, and build their capacity to support students.
- Create safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments that promote all students’ social and emotional development.
- Use data as an opportunity to share power, deepen relationships, and continuously improve support for students, families, and staff.
Use the download organizer to preview the SEL Roadmap, prioritize activities, and prepare to dive into the full document with your team.
SEL Roadmap Tool IndexBack to top
Throughout the SEL Roadmap, each activity concludes with a list of curated tools to help operationalize the guidance within that section. Use the full index below to access those tools and more.
SEL Critical Practice 1: Take time to cultivate and deepen relationships, build partnerships, and plan for SELBack to top
- Relationship Mapping (Harvard Graduate School of Education) This strategy helps ensure that each student has a relationship with at least one caring adult in school. This can also be done virtually.
- Strategies for Equitable Family Engagement (State Support Network) This overview is organized around five categories of equitable family engagement strategies, offering summaries of research and examples of school practices.
- Tools for Educators to Listen and Learn from Families During COVID-19 School Closures (Culturally Responsive Education Hub) This tool includes sample emails, call scripts, and post-conversation reflection and action in both English and Spanish.
- Responsive Circles for COVID-19 (International Institute for Restorative Practices) This practice uses familiar restorative questions tailored to the current moment to build knowledge about the experiences of the community.
- Community-Care Strategies for Schools During the Coronavirus Crisis (WestEd) This brief offers guiding questions and specific strategies for building community and connectedness among staff, students, and families.
- Key Concepts for Leveraging Chronic Absence During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Attendance Works) This framework and list of strategies supports connecting with students and families to reduce chronic absenteeism.
- Establish Structures for Two-Way Communication (CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL) This webpage includes questions for planning communications about SEL and a tool for identifying stakeholders and developing a communication strategy.
- Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education: Culturally Sensitive Communication (Teaching Tolerance) This selection from the publication Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education includes concrete strategies for culturally sensitive communication, inclusion, and connection-building among families, and engagement with community problems.
- Developing Life Skills in Children: A Road Map for Communicating with Parents (Learning Heroes) These slides share research on how families respond to information about SEL and what kind of messaging is most effective.
- Engage all Stakeholders in Foundational Learning (CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL) This webpage offers essential questions for planning learning opportunities, sample presentations, articles, videos, and a downloadable planning template.
- Impact of SEL (CASEL) This webpage offers a variety of resources for communicating about SEL, including Making the Case for SEL, a customizable slide deck to support a focus on SEL.
- Interview and Survey Your Community About the Path Forward (CASEL) This process, sample letters, and survey templates can be used to assess current successes and areas for additional support in your school community.
- SEL Effort Inventory and Analysis (CASEL) This interview protocol and inventory template can be used to review both schoolwide SEL efforts and efforts used by individuals and school partners to prioritize the most impactful practices for the coming year.
- Administer Distance Learning Surveys to Students, Families, and Staff (Panorama Education) These downloadable open source surveys can be used to elevate student voice, teacher/staff/administrator feedback, and family and community needs.
- For Educators: Resource Mapping Strategy (Harvard Graduate School of Education) This strategy helps educators identify and analyze existing school resources and programs related to SEL, climate, and well-being to make informed decisions.
- Focal Students: Equity in the Classroom (Webinar from the National Equity Project) This approach supports educators to learn deeply from a few students, particularly those who are not well-served by current systems, to change practices to impact a greater number of students.
- Conducting Focus Groups (Community Toolbox) This guide contains a checklist, examples, and a summary PowerPoint presentation to prepare staff or community leaders to facilitate a focus group.
- Criteria for an Equitable School—Equity Audit (Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium) Use this questionnaire to reflect on the climate, processes, and content that enable students and staff to perform at their highest levels.
- Build a Transition Coalition (CASEL) This worksheet can help you prepare to recruit members of a coalition to help set a schoolwide SEL vision and goals.
- Develop a Shared Vision and Goals for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) This tool provides processes for articulating a vision statement that reflects input from the full school community and using that vision to develop specific, measurable SEL-focused goals to drive transition planning.
- Youth-Adult Partnership Roadmap to Agency (Unleashing the Power of Partnership for Learning) This rubric provides a means to understand, assess, and improve youth-adult partnerships to increase agency and situate young people as full partners.
- Liberatory Design: Your Toolkit to Design for Equity (National Equity Project and Stanford d.school’s K12Lab) This card deck adapts the design thinking process to include steps that center equity and mindsets that should underlie all work.
- Pursuing Social and Emotional Development Through a Racial Equity Lens: A Call to Action (Aspen Institute) This publication identifies ways that equity and social, emotional, and academic development can be mutually reinforcing bodies of work.
SEL Critical Practice 2: Design opportunities where adults can connect, heal, and build their capacity to support studentsBack to top
- Creating Staff Shared Agreements (CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL) This tool provides a process for co-developing agreements about how all staff will work together, communicate, and interact to achieve a shared vision.
- Educator Resilience and Trauma-Informed Self-Care: Self-Assessment and Planning Tool (Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at AIR) This self-care assessment asks teachers to first reflect on their current self-care practices and then helps them build a plan for the future.
- Self-Care Circle (Circle Forward, via Greater Good Science Center) This circle protocol can be used with adults or students to center themselves and reflect on and share ways to practice self-care.
- SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook (CASEL) This mini-book provides practical ways to introduce and broaden the use of SEL practices in classrooms, schools, and workplaces.
- Listening as a Leadership Strategy: Getting Started With Constructivist Listening (National Equity Project) These slides introduce constructivist listening and include a practice activity to try with staff.
- 5 Minute Chats With the Principal (CASEL with support from NAESP) This sample check-in agenda and questions can be used by school leaders when connecting individually with staff members.
- Flexibility, Listening Without Judgment Critical to Support Educators of Color (Education Dive) This brief article offers essential perspective, particularly for white school leaders, to build understanding of the disparate experiences of educators of color.
- Hosting Virtual Circles (Healing Circles Global) This tool links to a circle planning template, details the logistical adjustments needed to conduct a circle virtually, and provides clear instructions for using Zoom and ensuring participants can successfully join the group.
- Sentence Stems for Adult Community Building (Dallas Independent School District) These sentence stems can be used at the beginning or end of staff convenings to reflect and listen to each other.
- Reflecting on Personal SEL Skills (CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL) This tool can help school staff to reflect on their own social and emotional growth.
- Teachers are Anxious and Overwhelmed. They Need SEL Now More than Ever (Cipriano & Brackett via EdSurge) This article shares insights from a recent survey of teachers about the emotions they are experiencing in connection with COVID-19 and distance learning, illustrates ways in which these emotions impact teaching and learning, and concludes with the recommendation to build a staff charter to answer the questions “How do we want to feel as a staff?” and “What do we need to do for everyone to feel this way?”
- Compassion Resilience Toolkit for Schools (Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination) This toolkit addresses teacher compassion fatigue and how to build resilience.
- The Educator Context and Stress Spectrum (Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at AIR) This tool supports educators in gaining a greater awareness of how their current personal and professional context affects their levels of stress in the time of COVID-19.
- Self-Care Strategies for Educators During the Coronavirus Crisis (WestEd) This brief offers practical guidance for educators who face the stresses of the pandemic, school building closures, online service provision, and quarantine conditions.
- Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma (STAT) This online curriculum supports teachers dealing with secondary traumatic stress.
- Psychological First Aid (National Child Traumatic Stress Network) This six-hour online learning module features innovative activities, video demonstrations, and mentor tips from the nation’s trauma experts.
- Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator (SAMHSA) This search tool provides a map and contact information for mental health support facilities.
- Responding to COVID-19: School Mental Health (Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network) This webpage compiles upcoming virtual training and other tools specific to school mental health that can be useful when coping with the effects of widespread public health crises.
- Leading Through the Portal to Claim our Humanity (National Equity Project) This article highlights how the current moment marks an opportunity to practice radical compassion, confront inequities, re-order our priorities to focus on our collective well-being, and lead human-centered, structural change. If sharing this article with staff as a launch for discussion, see this related discussion guide.
- Futures Protocol (National School Reform Faculty) This protocol harnesses the creative energy of a team for expanding and envisioning opportunities and paths forward, focusing on collective brainstorming on the best possible future scenario.
- Avoiding Racial Equity Detours (EdChange) This short article describes four common ways schools and districts attempt to address equity while avoiding the discomfort of directly challenging racism and racist structures and policies, and follows with five principles to guide equity actions.
- If We Aren’t Addressing Racism, We Aren’t Addressing Trauma (Simmons, via ASCD) This blog from Dena Simmons provides critical context to push educators to “interrogate, with an anti-racist lens, the curriculum, learning experiences, and school policies to which our Black students are subject.”
- Empathy Techniques for Educational Equity (Stanford d.school) This printable booklet is a tool to help educators develop awareness of their biases and reflect on and locate opportunities to design for equity.
- The Return (Chiefs for Change) This guides education leaders on how to prepare and plan for the return to school, suggesting logistical and policy reforms as well as areas for prioritization, including student social and emotional well-being.
- Professional Learning Plan for SEL (CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL) This webpage includes a tool to organize a customized professional learning plan for school staff that is clearly tied to the schoolwide goals for SEL, can be assessed for effectiveness throughout the year, draws upon available resources, and includes intentional follow-up to ensure that new practices are sustained.
- Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools (National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments) This online module and handouts provide examples of ways to incorporate trauma sensitivity into the classroom.
- Stress and the Brain (Turnaround for Children) This professional learning packet explains how stress impacts the developing brain and related tools (made to accompany this edition of The 180 Podcast).
- Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network) This professional learning tool defines key terms, describes developmental differences in how children may be affected by racial trauma, and offers recommendations for creating a more trauma-informed classroom.
- Common Beliefs Survey: Teaching Racially and Ethnically Diverse Students (Teaching Tolerance, via Greater Good Science Center) This professional learning activity leads staff to reflect on their beliefs and then critically examine commonly held beliefs about how to meet the learning needs of racially and ethnically diverse students.
- Mindful Reflection Process for Developing Culturally Responsive Practices (Dray & Wisneski , via Greater Good Science Center) This independent reflective practice guides educators to process a challenging interaction with a student by examining their own assumptions, prejudices, and biases and consider how they affect their interactions with and expectations of their students to develop more culturally and linguistically responsive approaches.
- Webinar Series: Teaching and Leading in the Time of COVID-19 (Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at AIR) These webinars on supporting students and teachers’ emotional well-being through self-care include handouts and worksheets teachers can use on their own and with students.
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) This webpage includes a short video, infographics, statistics, and links to additional training tools to introduce staff to their role in reducing the impact of ACEs.
- SEL Online Education Module (Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) This free professional learning module can be self-directed or facilitated in a group setting. It is divided into 6 segments: Introduction to SEL, Embedding SEL Schoolwide, Creating a Professional Culture Based on SEL, Integrating SEL into Culturally Responsive Classrooms, Trauma Informed Social Emotional Learning, and Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Programs.
- Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) for Educators (Friday Institute) Registration is available through August 1, 2020 for this free online course, designed to build foundational understanding of SEL, strengthen one’s own SEL skills, see examples of how others teach these skills, and learn strategies to apply with students.
SEL Critical Practice 3: Create safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments that promote all students’ social and emotional developmentBack to top
- Building Developmental Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis (Search Institute) This checklist outlines relationship-building strategies during the COVID-19 crisis.
- 5-Minute Chats With Individual Students (CASEL) This sample agenda and questions for one-on-one check-ins with students can build connections and help respond to needs.
- Responsive Circles for COVID-19 (International Institute for Restorative Practices) These circle prompts use familiar restorative questions that are tailored to the current moment.
- Getting to Know You Survey (Panorama Education) This quick, online survey helps teachers and students learn about each other and build stronger classroom relationships.
- A COVID-19 Check-in Student Survey (Harvard Graduate School of Education) This survey can be shared with students to build connection and understanding.
- Creating Opportunities Through Relationships (University of Virginia) These free online professional learning modules are designed to strengthen teacher-student relationships.
- Building Community With Restorative Circles (Edutopia) Circles offer a structured opportunity to build community and relationship skills in a class, morning meeting, advisory, or teaching team.
- Teaching Restorative Practices with Classroom Circles (San Francisco Unified School District) This comprehensive guide focuses on using circle discussions as a proactive measure to build trust and community in a classroom and includes sample activities and lesson plans for introducing students to restorative practices.
- Belonging and Emotional Safety (CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL) This webpage links to select classroom activities, professional learning, and reflection templates for building structures that support belonging and emotional safety and affirm students’ full identities.
School Discipline Impacts Relationships and Equity – Suggested Resources:
- School Climate Improvement Resource Package (The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments)
- Addressing the Root Causes of Disparities in School Discipline: An Educator’s Action Planning Guide (The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments)
- Fostering Healthy Relationships and Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools (Schott Foundation’s National Opportunity to Learn Campaign)
- School Climate Planning and Restorative Practices Implementation Guide (San Francisco Unified School District)
- COVID-19 E-Learning Free Resources (SEL Providers Council) This searchable library links to SEL provider webpages where they offer free resources and curriculum to support SEL virtually and at home.
- Strategies for Trauma-Informed Distance Learning (WestEd) This brief offers general strategies and specific examples for how to recognize and respond to students’ social and emotional needs as well as build in trauma-informed practices that will support all students.
- Tennessee Toolkit for Teachers and Administrators to Incorporate Social and Personal Competencies into Instruction (Tennessee DOE) This toolkit is designed to increase administrator and teacher awareness of the instructional practices that promote SEL.
- This Time, With Feeling: Integrating Social and Emotional Development and College and Career Readiness Standards (Aspen Institute) This publication provides examples of how academic standards call upon students to use social and emotional skills and a rationale for embedding SEL in academic lessons.
- Sample Teaching Activities to Support Core Competencies of SEL (CASEL) This document draws from evidence-based programs to identify and describe some of the most common strategies used to promote student SEL.
- SEL Reflection Prompts (CASEL) This tool lists prompts that can be used in group or partner discussions, journals, or integrated into assignments to prompt student reflection aligned with the five SEL competency framework.
- Project Based Learning for Remote Learning (Buck Institute for Education) This webpage provides project ideas, recommended technology, and best practices for facilitating projects remotely.
- CASEL Program Guides (CASEL) These guides offer a framework for evaluating program quality and reviews for selecting evidence-based SEL programs and practices.
- SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook (CASEL) This playbook provides practical ways to introduce and broaden the use of SEL practices in classrooms, schools, and workplaces.
- How to Develop Culturally Responsive Teaching for Distance Learning (KQED) This article summarizes Zaretta Hammond’s three design principles of culturally responsive instruction that can be leveraged through distance learning (with or without access to technology) and links to her webinar on the same topic.
- SEL Kernels (Harvard EASEL Laboratory, via Greater Good in Education) SEL Kernels are short, specific activities or strategies that support the development of social and emotional skills and competencies – they are free, customizable, easy to use, and can be used in a variety of contexts. You can search SEL kernels by grade level and duration or download a printable packet at the link.
- Guidance for Trauma Screening in Schools (National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice) This guide outlines the role of schools with regards to trauma screening, including key considerations and cautions, different screener options, intervention options, and connections to a whole-school approach.
- Why We Need Trauma-Sensitive Schools (Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative) This video stresses the importance of trauma-sensitive learning environments to support students.
- Trauma-Informed School Strategies During COVID-19 (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network) This fact sheet offers information on the physical and emotional well-being of staff, creating a trauma-informed learning environment, identifying and assessing traumatic stress, addressing and treating traumatic stress, partnerships with students and families, cultural responsiveness, emergency management and crisis response, and school discipline policies and practices.
- Trauma-Informed SEL Toolkit (Transforming Education) This toolkit includes everything needed to deliver a two-hour professional development session designed for educators seeking research-based strategies to create a healthy classroom environment for students who have experienced adversities and trauma.
- Teacher Training Modules (National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement) These professional learning modules provide a structure for supporting grieving students.
- COVID-19 Pandemic Resources (National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement) These resources to support grieving students include sample scripts for educators, presentations for mental health professionals and school staff, and tips to share with families.
- Mental Health Resources for Adolescents and Young Adults (Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine) This list of online resources aimed at adolescents and young adults includes support groups, peer networks, helplines, treatment locators, and advocacy opportunities.
Strategies for Teaching Fearless SEL for Societal Change (Simmons (2019), via Greater Good Science Center) This SEL integration tool shows how CASEL’s five SEL competencies can create the conditions for youth agency and engagement and social change and can be a key part of classroom-based learning.
COVID-19: How Can We Make Choices that Promote the Common Good? (Facing History and Ourselves) This youth conversation lesson encourages students to share their views, values, and voices to strengthen the community.
Speaking Up Against Racism Around the Coronavirus (Teaching Tolerance) Written for teachers to address stereotypes, xenophobia, and racism in connection with COVID-19, this article contains links to Teaching Tolerance guides for responding to hate or bias incidents and resources for educators to facilitate critical conversations about bias and stereotypes.
Talking to Students About Race and Ethnicity (Teaching Tolerance) Packaged tools, webinar, and publications to support conversations with students about race, the Black Lives Matter movement, and injustice.
Talking About Race (National Museum of African American History & Culture) This online portal is designed to help educators, families, and other individuals talk about racism, racial identity, and the way these forces shape society.
Reflecting on George Floyd’s Death and Police Violence Towards Black Americans (Facing History and Ourselves) This teaching guide will help teachers begin conversations with their students about George Floyd’s death and the events that surround it, including reflection activities to prepare for teaching, creating space for emotional processing, and diving deeper with multimedia tools.
Circle Scripts for Black Lives Matter at School (ROCRestorative Team, Rochester City School District) Five sample scripts for facilitating Circle discussions about race and identity, challenging racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Civic Discussion Video Series (Teaching Channel) These three videos with discussion questions provide guidance on facilitating student-centered discussions on complex or controversial topics.
Essential Digital Citizenship Lessons for the Coronavirus Pandemic (Common Sense Education) These free lessons focus on norms and procedures for digital citizenship for virtual learning.
Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Teachers and Other Educators (National Association of School Psychologists) This tip sheet provides 14 brief, clear actions for preventing/stopping incidents of verbal harassment, avoidance, and exclusion in connection with COVID-19.
Create a Toolbox for Care (Facing History and Ourselves) Using these activities, teachers can help their students create a toolbox to take care of themselves and others during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Let’s Talk! Teaching Black Lives Matter (Teaching Tolerance) This webinar provides content about education and educational policy that needs to change, how to bring in students into the conversation, and resources for bringing the Black Lives Matter movement into the classroom. Teaching Tolerance offers additional Let’s Talk webinars as well as a Let’s Talk guide to help adults and young people prepare to discuss race, racism, and other topics.
These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids (New York Times) This book list is differentiated by age group, from 0 to 12+, and includes advice from experts about how to open lines of discussion.
Addressing Change & Loss for Grades PreK-2 (Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility) This set of lessons and activities, including video, story, discussion, and movement components, can help build community among students and strengthen trust with their teacher, and can be conducted in person or virtually.
SEL Critical Practice 4: Use data as an opportunity to share power, deepen relationships, and continuously improve support for students, families, and staffBack to top
Thank you to our Partnering OrganizationsBack to top