The AddyPresFoundation works to support schools at the district, school and classroom level by bringing Awareness to CASEL (Collaborative for Academic Social Emotional Learning) recommended SEL Programs & their benefits with funding opportunities for program sustainability. Learn more about how we can support you.
CASEL is the world's leading organization, advancing one of the most important fields in education in decades: the practice of promoting integrated academic, social & emotional learning for all children in preschools through high school.
We have navigated the CASEL website to refine and create an initial directive for schools to get started. We recommend visiting the CASEL site for further direction and assistance.
Points of Interest for SCHOOLS
Why is SEL essential to the school and life success of all children and youth?
Our emotions and relationships affect how and what we learn and how we use what we learn in work, family, and community contexts. On the one hand, emotions can enable us to generate an active interest in learning and sustain our engagement in it. On the other hand, unmanaged stress and poor regulation of impulses interfere with attention and memory and contribute to behaviors disruptive to learning.
Moreover, learning is an intrinsically social and interactive process. It takes place in collaboration with one’s teachers, in the company of one’s peers, and with the support of one’s family. Relationships are the engine of learning.
What empirical evidence supports the effectiveness of SEL Programming?
Several hundred studies using experimental designs with control groups have documented the positive effects of SEL programming on children of diverse backgrounds from preschool through high school in urban, suburban, and rural settings.
The research clearly demonstrates that SEL programming significantly improves children’s academic performance on standardized tests. Moreover, compared to control groups, children who have participated in SEL programs have significantly better school attendance records, less disruptive classroom behavior, like school more, and perform better in school. The research also indicates that children who have participated in SEL programs are less likely than children in control groups to be suspended or otherwise disciplined.
What can a PRINCIPAL do to promote SEL?
A key to promoting effective schoolwide SEL is ensuring that all staff members have initial and ongoing professional development and support for implementing programming. In addition, principals can promote SEL by:
• Indicating to school personnel and families that they are committed to schoolwide SEL as a priority; and
• Developing and articulating a shared vision of their students’ social, emotional, and academic development.
What can TEACHERS do to promote SEL?
In addition to providing instruction in social and emotional skills, teachers’ involvement in promoting SEL goes beyond the classroom and includes:
• Participating on a school team or committee that selects SEL programs and oversees the implementation and evaluation of SEL activities; and
• Communicating regularly with students’ families about SEL classroom activities to encourage reinforcement of SEL lessons at home.
What can PARENTS do to support SEL?
Parents can promote their child’s SEL by learning more about their school’s SEL initiative and modeling behaviors and adopting practices that reinforce their child’s SEL skills at home. Examples include:
- Participating in family informational meetings at their school to learn more about its SEL initiative; and
- Emphasizing their child’s strengths before discussing deficits and needed improvements.
What can student support services professionals do to support SEL?
Student support services (SSS) professionals can be valuable members of an SEL steering committee due to their knowledge of human behavior, program planning and evaluation, community resources, classroom management strategies, and students’ personal challenges to learning. Their perspective on student needs and the resources being used to address those needs is essential to an adequate SEL needs and resources assessment. Since their work is not confined to the classroom, they also bring an important perspective to identifying schoolwide SEL programming needs.
In small-group work SSS professionals can reinforce classroom instruction in SEL skills with students who need more practice. When conferring with parents on approaches to addressing learning challenges their child is experiencing, SSS professionals can use SEL language introduced in the classroom. When consulting with teachers on classroom management issues, they can assess problems and suggest solutions with reference to SEL skills and the characteristics of a safe and supportive learning environment. When developing and assessing student progress on IEP goals, they can relate these goals to specific SEL standards. SSS staff are also typically the link between schools and the community-based services that students may access. As such, they can extend the SEL framework to these relationships as well.
Finally, coordinating classroom-based SEL instruction with services provided by student support staff can be especially effective in promoting the school success of children who have social, emotional, and mental health problems that interfere with learning.
What are the components of evidence based school-wide SEL programming?
Effective SEL programming provides students with opportunities to contribute to their communities, families with opportunities to enhance their children’s social and emotional development, school personnel with ongoing professional development opportunities, and community groups with opportunities such as after-school and before-school programs in partnership with schools (CASEL. 2013. CASEL Guide: Effective social and emotional learning programs – Preschool and elementary edition. Chicago, IL: Weissberg, R.P., Goren, P., Domitrovich, C., Dusenbury, L. P.). Key components of effective SEL implementation in schools include:
• Instruction in and opportunities to practice and apply an integrated set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills.
• Learning environments characterized by trust and respectful relationships.
• Coordinated implementation that reinforces classroom, schoolwide, out-of-school, and at-home learning activities.
• Systematic and sequential programming from preschool through high school.
• Developmentally and culturally appropriate behavioral supports.
• Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of implementation for continuous improvement.
Why is it important to use an evaluated, evidence-based SEL curriculum?
Many available SEL programs have core elements based on an underlying theory of how desired student changes are achieved. Schools interested in implementing an SEL program are urged to start by familiarizing themselves with evidence-based programs featured in the CASEL Program Guides. This will give them a better understanding of how these programs work and enable them to adapt such a program to meet the needs of their students and get buy-in from their teachers without compromising the integrity of its core elements.
How can your district or school financially sustain the CASEL Social Emotional Learning work?
Through CASEL’s work with partner districts, they have supported school systems committed to implementing districtwide social and emotional learning (SEL). From 2012 through 2015, four of those districts — Austin, Chicago, Washoe County, Nev., and Wheaton-Warrenville, Ill. — partnered with CASEL to investigate and develop strategies for financially sustaining districtwide SEL initiatives over multiple years. Learn more about these district partnerships here.
Imagine a school…where the leaders consistently model good practices, proactively train staff, welcome parents as partners, focus on relationships (student-student, adult-student, adult-adult), use positive discipline policies, and invest time and resources in and out of the classroom. Research shows that social and emotional learning (SEL) helps create and is most effective in safe and supportive learning environments like these. Learn more about how your school can be successful implementing SEL programming that will make this dream a reality! Learn More
Read more about these responses on CASEL's FAQ's Link