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 the Russell Elementary School in Boston and its OST partner, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. The two collaborated to expand Russell students’ access to enrichment by using the Clubs’ ample facilities and linking the enrichment activities to the school-day curriculum through a shared focus on SEL. The goal was to provide students with important enrichment activities that they otherwise would not get in their normal school day as well as the opportunity to learn social-emotional skills in new settings and contexts.
The case study details how the partnership overcame challenges, including early financial obstacles and disruptions to the learning schedule in both settings. For example, consistent communication between the principal and the OST program director helped to solve problems as they arose and to develop the partnership at the leadership level. Providing formal and informal opportunities for program staff members and Russell teachers to collaborate and see each other’s work built trust and strengthened relationships, increasing staff and teacher buy-in to the effort.
All six case studies—as well as a summary report with cross-cutting lessons—can be found here.