​​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 Whitman Elementary in Tulsa and its OST partner, Youth at Heart. The two collaborated to aid adults in building their own social-emotional skills so they could support social and emotional learning for their students. The idea was to help adults prioritize their own mental health to reduce burnout, effectively model SEL competencies for students, and build strong and healthy relationships with students.

This case study finds that by focusing on adult SEL: 
  • The effort saw corresponding declines in teacher burnout and turnover. 
  • Students experienced consistent SEL resources and best practices.
  • The school and OST staff members noted improvements in students’ social and emotional skills as well as the overall school climate.​
All six case studies—as well as a summary report with cross-cutting lessons—can be found here.

 Points of Interest

  • Tulsa’s Whitman Elementary School and its out-of-school-time program partner, Youth at Heart, collaborated to focus on adults’ SEL skills first so that they are equipped to support students’ social and emotional learning. An added benefit: The focus on adult SEL not only strengthened student SEL but also corresponded to declines in teacher burn-out and turnover.
    Case Study: A Tulsa elementary school and its out-of-school-time program partner learned to first invest in adults – equipping them to then support their students’ social and emotional learning.

 Supplementary Materials