The Warren City Schools have been systemically implementing social and emotional learning since 2010 as a collaborative effort of CASEL, the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, and the Inner Resilience Program. The centerpiece of the work is Skills for Life, a comprehensive districtwide SEL program that focuses on 1) the 4 R’s (Reading, Writing, Respect, and Resolution) curriculum, and 2) teacher wellness and mindful awareness.
Key components include ongoing professional development for all PreK-12 staff in SEL combined with a focus on cultivating mindful awareness practices for educators, parents, and students; the development of district and school leaders who provide support for continual training for new staff; Skills for Life workshops for families; student conflict mediation school programs; and weekly implementation of SEL curriculum.
In addition, all high school freshmen and seniors have a daily student advisory with a weekly SEL lesson. A new high school SEL curriculum, School Connect, is being implemented in 2016-17.
After the first two years of implementation, the American Institutes for Research found:
- Participants in both first and second year cohorts reported positive changes in student behavior and in their classroom climate.
- Participants significantly increased their social and emotional learning effectiveness and became more mindful about their interactions with students.
- Cohort 2 participants reported statistically significant changes in their classroom behavior management effectiveness after the first year of implementation.
- Participants demonstrated statistically significant improvements in their knowledge of training topics after one year with the greatest gains in knowledge in topics related to improving social emotional competencies.