Vision, Plan, Engagement, and Communications

School district leaders have shared that the most important step states can take to support the SEL work in schools and classrooms is to communicate the importance of SEL as an educational priority. To shape compelling messaging and address any concerns, states can look to public opinion surveys that offer insights into what various stakeholders think about SEL.

CASEL recommends that states engage and work with various stakeholders to create visions and strategic plans that can guide their work in SEL. The resources below can help.

Strategic Planning and Vision

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Resources from CASEL

Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • Social and Emotional Learning in State Strategic Plans: Examples and Opportunities. This overview is useful for understanding how state education agencies are using various approaches to incorporate SEL into their strategic plans. (October 2018). Download the PDF.
  • District Recommendations for How States Can Support SEL. This brief is useful for gaining insights into which aspects of communicating about SEL should be a priority, based on numerous interviews with district leaders and consultations with states. (June 2018). Download the PDF.
  • Recommended Process Tool for Developing State Guidelines and Practices to Support SEL. States can use this tool to help craft their SEL vision and strategic plan. (January 2017). Download the PDF.

Resources from Other Organizations

  • From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope. National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. The report includes key findings, recommendations, and examples from the multisector coalition whose goal was to build national consensus on the need to integrate SEL and academics into the fabric of American education. (January 2019). Download the report.

Communications

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Resources from CASEL

Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • SEL District Resource Center. Free digital platform that provides numerous resources related to communications about SEL, including development of a comprehensive district communications plan. Access the site.
  • Making the Case PowerPoint. Customizable slides summarize the evidence supporting SEL as well as rising demand among teachers, principals, students, employers, parents, and others. (March 2021). Download the Powerpoint.
  • An update on social and emotional learning outcome research. Article in Kappan magazine, authored by CASEL, summarizes key findings from four meta-analyses on SEL. (November 2018) Access the article. Access the article.
  • Emerging Insights from States’ Efforts to Strengthen SEL. This report shares lessons learned in the first two years of partnering with states, including how states are customizing messaging. (June 2018). Download the report.

Resources from Other Organizations

  • Communications Resources. National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. Posters, videos, infographics and other tools that help explain the benefits on SEL, in English and Spanish. (January 2019). Access the tools.
  • Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) Fact Sheet. National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. A two-page overview of “fast facts” about SEL that can be useful in communicating about SEL to audiences unfamiliar with what it is. (April 2018) Download the PDF.

Public Opinion Surveys

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Resources from CASEL

Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • Respected: Perspectives of Youth on High School & Social and Emotional Learning. The survey of current and recent high school students found that young people see benefits in attending schools that emphasize SEL, but the majority believe their schools could have done better. (November 2018). Download the report.
  • The Missing Piece. This report shares results of a national survey of teacher attitudes and experiences with SEL (2013). Download the report.
  • Ready to Lead: A National Principal Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Prepare Children and Transform Schools. This report presents findings from a national survey of school principals that shows strong support for SEL and a need for resources for implementation and professional learning. (October 2017) Download the report.

Resources from Other Organizations

  • Gauging Support for Social and Emotional Skill Building in School. NASBE. Influential stakeholders in five states view SEL favorably, according to the survey. But they also express reservations about overburdening teachers and labeling students. (April 2019). Download the report.
  • 2018 Social and Emotional Learning Report. McGraw-Hill Education. Extensive survey of 1,100-plus educators, administrators, and parents about the professional development, resources, and support for social and emotional learning (SEL) in PreK-12 classrooms. (Fall 2018). Access the report.
  • Social and Emotional Learning: Feedback and Communications Insights from the Field. Wallace Foundation. Market researchers explore the linguistic landscape of the many terms used to describe nonacademic skills, including SEL, to explore the numerous terms and concepts related to SEL. (December 2016). Download the report.

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