​​This case study is one of a series detailing how schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs in six communities have collaborated to build students’ social and emotional skills. The communities are participants in Wallace’s Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, which has brought together school districts and their OST partners to develop and implement mutually reinforcing social and emotional learning (SEL) activities and instruction across learning settings.

​This case study features Webster Elementary in Dallas and its OST partner, Thriving Minds Afterschool. The two worked together to make SEL sustainable, even in the face of staff turnover and other challenges, by forming an effective steering committee that became the driving force behind their SEL work. With an eye toward sustainability, the committee prioritized particular strategies to cultivate an SEL-focused climate across campus, provided training to school and OST program staff members, and monitored and documented implementation of these efforts.

This case study finds that by focusing on sustainable social and emotional learning: 
  • The effort saw improvements in attendance, school climate, and student behavior. 
  • Staff members beyond the steering committee began sharing responsibility for SEL on campus. 
  • Short SEL rituals became embedded in the campus’s daily schedule before the onset of the pandemic, which helped ease the transition of SEL to hybrid learning.
All six case studies—as well as a summary report with cross-cutting lessons—can be found here​​.

 Points of Interest

  • In Dallas, Webster Elementary and its out-of-school-time program partner, Thriving Minds Afterschool, collaborated to make social and emotional learning (SEL) sustainable by creating a steering committee dedicated to SEL implementation. The result: SEL practices were implemented routinely, leading to improvements in attendance, perceptions of school climate, and student behavior.
    Case Study: A social and emotional learning (SEL) committee set up by a Dallas elementary school and its out-of-school-time program partner grew more effective over time, focusing on daily activities to make SEL stick.

 Supplementary Materials