The American Rescue Plan Act has made funds available to states and districts to speed up recovery from the effects of COVID-19, including addressing learning loss. The Wallace Foundation has distilled evidence from its work that may be helpful in informing choices about how to spend those funds, as well as how to implement key strategies.

The impact of the pandemic on the well-being of young people is a key part of the conversation around recovering from the pandemic, with social and emotional learning  emerging as a top priority for districts and their community partners. This document highlights early insights from The Wallace Foundation’s Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, which explores whether and how children can benefit from partnerships between schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs focused on building social and emotional skills — and what it takes to do this work.

Some of those early insights include the following:

  • Attending to the well-being of adults can help ensure they can then model positive social and emotional skills and competencies for students
  • Staff benefit from professional development that is ongoing, customized, and provided by coaches with expertise in the relevant setting (either in-school or in out-of-school time)
  • A positive climate is a crucial foundation for promoting social and emotional skills; establishing rituals and routines such as a “warm welcome” can help
  • Supporting SEL requires attention to both ongoing pedagogical practices and to SEL-explicit curricula
  • Developing SEL content sequences for OST settings that track with the school-day SEL curriculum can help to mutually reinforce SEL instruction

The document includes an annotated bibliography with more research and tools for further reading on how to implement these strategies.  ​