​​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.

​The piece features Lister Elementary School in Tacoma and its efforts to build a schoolwide commitment to SEL. It describes how, over time, Lister school leaders and staff members integrated a focus on racial equity and restorative practices into its SEL approach. The school used four key strategies as its work evolved, including gaining and maintaining staff buy-in to the effort, building racial equity and restorative practices into its SEL resources, designing and delivering a range of professional supports to build staff members’ SEL and equity capacity, and reframing SEL and equity work as complementary to (rather than competing with) academic priorities.

All six case studies—as well as a summary report with cross-cutting lessons—can be found here​​.

 Points of Interest

  • Passionate school leaders were the driving force behind the social and emotional learning and equity work at Tacoma’s Lister Elementary School, but they strengthened that leadership by elevating teacher leaders and consistently collaborating with their staff. This helped ensure that the entire school played a role in advancing Lister’s SEL and equity work
    Case Study: A Tacoma elementary school established social and emotional learning and equity as a non-negotiable foundation for its work with students, staff members, and families.

 Supplementary Materials