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What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership?30243<p>From providing superintendents with a forum to trade ideas to working with school districts to reshape the principal supervisor job to establishing alternative training programs for principals, states can do a lot to strengthen principals and other school leaders. </p><p>That’s the lesson from the education chiefs of Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania, who sat down recently to discuss the work going on in their states to bolster education leaders. Listen to what they have to say in this <a href="https&#58;//ccsso.org/blog/knowledge-action-how-states-are-working-promote-effective-school-leadership-models">video series</a> by the Council of Chief State School Officers.</p><p>You’ll also hear some inspiring messages about why the state efforts matters. Here’s a sampling&#58;</p><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIW8LsL5QjI&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img height="190" class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;292px;" /></a> <li>“When school leaders have a chance to ensure that students have everything that they need to be successful, that’s really what the definition of equity is—that every student that’s in front of them is getting that chance to be the best that they can possibly be.” —Matthew Blomstedt, commissioner of education for Nebraska <br> <br> <br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5nMeaozvDs&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;294px;" /></a> <li>“School leadership is tremendously important because fundamentally it’s the leader that really sees to all the different pieces and parts within a school working together in the interests of helping educate each and every child. What we see is [that] when you find a school that is delivering an absolute excellent education, you’ll always find a great excellent leader.” —Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction for Ohio<br><br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o6uDYRPmoA&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;295px;" /></a> <li>“First and foremost, school leaders set the stage, set the conditions and provide the resources for teachers to best serve their students and their community. Effective school leadership and student success are tied hand in hand.” —Pedro Rivera, secretary of education for Pennsylvania</li></ul><p>Looking for more ideas? Check out the <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">school leadership page</a> on the Wallace website.</p>Video Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in Three StatesGP0|#3ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7;L0|#03ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7|education;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principals;GP0|#6461b6ad-6a49-4a2a-af3d-221d7c1e6636;L0|#06461b6ad-6a49-4a2a-af3d-221d7c1e6636|state policy;GP0|#b9a19044-4daf-4d23-b5e4-7fa091bf4a41;L0|#0b9a19044-4daf-4d23-b5e4-7fa091bf4a41|statesGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Three-State-Chiefs-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2018-08-14T04:00:00ZVideo Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in Three States8/15/2018 10:01:38 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership Video Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in 209https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals26198<p>The top concerns of elementary and middle school principals have shifted dramatically in the past 10 years, according to a new survey, with nearly three quarters of those polled saying they are worried about an increase in the number of students with emotional problems. The top issues that survey respondents noted in 2008—student assessment, instructional practices and providing a continuum of services to students at risk—didn’t rank among their top concerns in the new <a href="https&#58;//www.naesp.org/pre-k-8-school-leader-2018-10-year-study">study</a> by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. </p><p>The association has surveyed pre-K-8 school principals every 10 years since 1928. The study gauges the characteristics, concerns and conditions of elementary and middle school principals, and it tracks how these change over time. The 2018 survey, which was not nationally representative, received responses from almost 900 elementary and middle school principals.</p><p>This year’s survey marked the first time that students’ mental and emotional issues topped principals’ concerns. Those surveyed selected an “increase in the number of students with emotional problems” (74 percent), “student mental health issues” (66 percent) and “students not performing to their level of potential” (62 percent) as issues of “extreme or high” concern in their schools.</p><p>“While these findings are significant because they quantify the concerns of principals nationwide, they are somewhat foreseeable given the uptick in predictors like an increase in poverty and a need for mental health supports,” said Earl Franks, the association’s executive director. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">&#160;42% of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38% reported a moderate increase. </p><p>When asked what concerned them about their students, principals cited poverty, behavior management, lack of effective adult supervision at home, safety and security, bullying over social media, homelessness and absenteeism, among other issues. </p><p>Addressing the socioemotional needs of students ranked as one of the top five matters the principals reported spending time on. Asked about areas in which their level of involvement has changed in recent years, 42 percent of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38 percent reported a moderate increase. “Student socioemotional well-being” ranked fourth on the list of matters with which the principals said they are increasingly involved. &#160;</p><p>Franks described principals’ roles as supporting teachers’ efforts in the classroom, cultivating leadership and “shaping a vision” for school cultures that make student well-being, including social and emotional health, a priority.</p><p>“Addressing the social and emotional needs of students isn’t necessarily a new responsibility for principals,” Franks explained, but the increasing interest in incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools “has provided a language and a construct to help principals think about how they can marshal and leverage resources and support for teachers and students.”</p><p>To do this, principals need more support in the form of training and guidance, Franks said. Franks suggested that their professional development needs to shift to address the growing need for social and emotional learning. “This type of learning should not feel like an add-on,” he said.&#160; </p><p>Wallace recognizes the importance of SEL and has invested in research that provides credible and useful knowledge on the topic. This includes an edition of the journal <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/social-emotional-learning.aspx"><em>The Future of Children</em></a>&#160;on SEL and <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx"><em>Navigating SEL from the Inside Out&#58; Looking Inside &amp; Across 25 Leading SEL Programs&#58; A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers.</em></a></p><p>You can learn more about our ongoing <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">social and emotional learning initiative</a> on our website. </p>New study shows principals’ increasing attention to social and emotional development and other student issues GP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principals;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#0749b622-d2bc-4ff6-bf7d-ee28a6072887;L0|#00749b622-d2bc-4ff6-bf7d-ee28a6072887|district policy;GP0|#b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc;L0|#0b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc|SEL;GP0|#d73feafd-7541-41e4-bf76-32a850c6bae7;L0|#0d73feafd-7541-41e4-bf76-32a850c6bae7|students;GP0|#d5c8761f-1589-44fa-a495-f6cd08fb7d18;L0|#0d5c8761f-1589-44fa-a495-f6cd08fb7d18|behavior;GP0|#911c46ae-3792-4d09-8f59-f1f1429e7440;L0|#0911c46ae-3792-4d09-8f59-f1f1429e7440|mental healthGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/naesp-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2018-08-07T04:00:00ZNew study shows principals’ increasing attention to social and emotional development and other student issues8/7/2018 1:59:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals The top concerns of elementary and middle 393https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Summer Books, Research and Beloved Pigs of Children’s Literature18793<p>The idea seems simple—give low-income kids books over the summer and their reading will improve. As Harvard education professor <a href="https&#58;//www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty/james-kim" target="_blank">James Kim</a> knows, there’s a lot more to it than that. </p><p>Kim is the key person behind READS for Summer Learning, a school-run, home-based program shaped by 10-plus years of research and experimentation. Over time, Kim and his colleagues developed a program which, through a combination of instructional support, family engagement and books carefully matched to the reading levels and interests of young readers, helped its participants in high-poverty elementary schools gain nearly 1.5 months of reading skills on average compared to non-participants. A <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/reads-helping-children-become-summer-bookworms.aspx">new Wallace report</a> describes READS, which received support from the foundation.<em>&#160;(Click on the thumbnail below to view the infographic.)&#160;</em></p><p> <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/READS-Helping-Children-Become-Summer-Bookworms-infographic.pdf"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Asset_Infographic.png" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/summer-books-research-beloved-pigs-of-childrens-literature/Asset_Infographic.png" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;290px;" /></a>The READS research was all-consuming. Kim even packed and hand-delivered boxes of books to schools participating in his studies. Still, the hard work was worthwhile, considering its purpose, according to Kim. “READS is designed to impact a child’s head, heart and hands,” he says. “It helps kids read for understanding, inspires their love of reading and causes them to want to get their hands on more and more books.” <br> <br> Now, educators want to get their hands on READS. Kim has fielded inquiries from school district leaders to classroom teachers. This past year, he conducted webinar training with a group of school literacy facilitators in Michigan. A colleague ran a similar workshop with librarians in Massachusetts. Interest has also come from nonprofit organizations that bring services to schools, such as tutoring and book fairs. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="jk2-cropped.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/summer-books-research-beloved-pigs-of-childrens-literature/jk2-cropped.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;210px;" />Kim’s work follows him home&#58; His three kids are entering second, third and fourth grade. What’s one of their favorite books to read together? Kate DiCamillo’s <em>Mercy Watson</em> series, starring a hilarious pig. “While we’re on the theme of pigs, I love <em>Charlotte’s Web</em> too!” Kim adds. </p><p>Below, he talks more about his research and summer learning.<br><br><strong>You started your career in education as a middle-school history teacher in the 1990s. How did that experience spark your interest in researching summer reading loss and possible solutions?</strong></p><p>At my school, kids learned about colonial history to the Civil War in sixth grade. I covered Reconstruction to the present in seventh grade. When kids returned to school in September, some clearly knew a lot about history and some seemed to have forgotten much of what they learned about the Civil War, which was covered just three months ago. As I probed, it became clear that many of my disadvantaged students did not have enriching summers. They read few books and lost a lot of ground academically. This first-hand experience gave me the initial burst of inspiration to think of a low-cost solution to summer learning loss.</p><p> <strong>Your research on READS spans more than a decade. There was a trial-and-error approach to your work as you figured out the key components of the program. What surprised you most</strong>? </p><p>I call the trial-and-error approach the fusion of “strategic replication” and “heroic incrementalism.”&#160; That is, I wanted to stick with a program of research long enough to build on what worked and to make changes to what didn’t. This approach yielded a lot of surprises, but that’s what makes science fun—having your assumptions challenged and continually building knowledge.</p><p>One surprise was disappointing. In an early READS study with my colleague Jon Guryan, an economist at Northwestern University, we let kids select their own books rather than matching them with books based on their reading level and book tastes. Too many kids picked really hard books. They did no better on a follow-up reading test than their peers who hadn’t been part of READS. We shouldn’t think of this as a failure, though, because it’s critical to know what doesn’t work. </p><p>A second finding is more optimistic. In our last RCT [randomized controlled trial] of READS, we compared core or traditional READS with adaptive READS. In the core READS program, we instructed teachers to implement the core components with fidelity. In the adaptive READS model, we allowed for structured adaptations so teachers could make changes to help make the program work better with their kids. The adaptive READS program worked better, improved student engagement and ultimately students’ reading comprehension outcomes. We were surprised and gratified to see that the adaptive READs model could work well in high-poverty schools (75 percent to 100 percent of students eligible for free lunch) particularly when teachers had implemented core READs for at least one year.</p><p> <strong>Summer seems to be an under-utilized time for learning. Why is that?</strong></p><p>One challenge is that educators already have a crowded agenda. There’s already so much that a superintendent, principal and teacher have to accomplish during the school year. I think summer is a peripheral concern. In addition, educators typically don’t have the same level of accountability or funding for programs outside school, especially during the summer. My hope is that more educators invest in low-cost and scalable solutions, whether READS or some other program, for stimulating learning outside school in the summer. </p><p> <strong>Mobile technology and usage have evolved significantly since you started your research. According to Pew Research, 92 percent of U.S. adults earning $30,000 or less own a cell phone of some kind. Two-thirds carry smartphones. Can you see READS going digital, with kids reading books and answering comprehension questions via a READS app?</strong></p><p>Great question. I’ve always felt that READS should evolve to meet the needs of educators, parents and children. And one great need today is developing digital solutions that are low-cost and effective in promoting summer learning. A READS app is a promising idea because it could provide parents and children more real-time feedback and encouragement. It might include games and incentives to further stimulate summer reading at home. I’d like to develop and try out some of these ideas. Stay tuned for updates on our website as we develop digital tools.</p><p> <strong>As a father, how have you encouraged good reading habits in your children?</strong></p><p>I think the key word is habit. Most nights, I read aloud to my kids, and I typically choose (or at least try) a book that my kids might not read on their own. One of my favorites is a series of biographies for kids by Brad Meltzer called <em>Ordinary People Change the World</em>. My kids wouldn’t, on their own, pick up a book about Albert Einstein or Abraham Lincoln, but I like to read these biographies to them. In many ways, this is exactly what we do in READS. Educators provide lessons about a narrative chapter book and teach kids a simple routine to engage with fun books about animals, natural science and famous people. Ultimately, to form good reading habits, kids need caring teachers and parents to open up new worlds of knowledge that are engaging and fascinating. </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> <em>Photos by </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.claireholtphotography.com/" target="_blank"> <em>Claire Holt</em></a><em>. Main photo&#58; James Kim reads with his children.</em></p>Harvard’s James Kim Chats About the Reads for Summer Learning Program GP0|#7bbb4d9d-1f89-43d6-8378-2712553dfe07;L0|#07bbb4d9d-1f89-43d6-8378-2712553dfe07|reading;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#ef286355-5070-4b9f-ae47-93ce25f35667;L0|#0ef286355-5070-4b9f-ae47-93ce25f35667|literacy;GP0|#507166ce-121b-4ec6-97dc-339d45606921;L0|#0507166ce-121b-4ec6-97dc-339d45606921|summer;GP0|#f01fbac9-f64d-4287-9b0d-40336135aef2;L0|#0f01fbac9-f64d-4287-9b0d-40336135aef2|books;GP0|#b771d274-4186-43f5-ba13-78826b0fda2b;L0|#0b771d274-4186-43f5-ba13-78826b0fda2b|opportunity gapGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Jennifer Gill83<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Q%26A-Jimmy-Kim-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2018-08-01T04:00:00ZHarvard’s James Kim Chats About the Reads for Summer Learning Program8/1/2018 3:00:07 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Summer Books, Research and Beloved Pigs of Children’s Literature Harvard’s James Kim Chats About the Reads for Summer 3661https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Showing Young People They Belong at the Ballet18726<p>​Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) has been bucking the odds. At a time when teen and young adult attendance at ballet is declining, PNB audiences have grown—and at a healthy clip. “It is now well established that part of the PNB experience is seeing young people in the audience,” says Executive Director Ellen Walker. </p><p>That situation is the result of ongoing efforts to build teen and young adult audiences (up to age 40). The work started in 2009 out of concern with nationwide declines in teen and young adult attendance. During a four-year Wallace Foundation-funded initiative, ticket sales to teens doubled to more than 2,000 annually, and sales to adults under age 25 rose 20 percent. Since then, PNB’s success with teens has only continued, and the company is placing renewed emphasis on research and programs to build traction with the 20- to 40-year-old audience that has not been as responsive as teens. </p><p> <strong>The Early Years&#58; Letting Audiences Know “There’s a Place for You Here”</strong></p><p>Walker believes PNB’s greatest challenge with younger audiences has been breaking through perceptions of the company as what she calls a seemingly inaccessible “castle on the hill”—and showing potential patrons that “there’s a place for you here.” Initial research, described in <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/wallace-studies-in-building-arts-audiences-getting-past-its-not-for-people-like-us.aspx">a case study of the earlier initiative</a>, revealed that many culturally active young people were open to ballet itself. But a lack of familiarity with PNB, combined with stereotypes of the performance hall experience as boring and stuffy, kept them away. Participants in that research also said that PNB’s website and advertising failed to communicate the excitement of a live performance and did little to invite them in.&#160; </p><p>In response, the company—which presents 100 performances a year to a combined audience of over 250,000, and also runs a ballet school—developed a plan to make PNB more accessible on multiple levels. For starters, it introduced reduced-price ticket programs including&#58;</p><ul><li> <strong>25 &amp; Under&#58;</strong> two tickets for $25 (or one for $15) to Friday performances for patrons age 25 and below;</li><li> <a href="https&#58;//www.teentix.org/"> <strong>TeenTix</strong></a><strong>&#58;</strong> a partnership with this Seattle-based teen program providing its members $5 day-of-show tickets and an active online forum to share their experiences;</li><li> <strong>Backstage Pass&#58;</strong> a membership program for patrons ages 21 to 39, offering discounted subscriptions and social events; </li><li> <strong>Teen Night&#58;</strong> a teen-only preview of PNB’s annual choreographers showcase with a $5 ticket price (in 2018, that changed to free admission); and</li><li>Half-price rush tickets and discounted subscriptions (10 to 15 percent off) for university students.</li></ul><p>PNB also overhauled its communications, including&#58;</p><ul><li>A redesigned website with easier navigation and more audiovisual content;</li><li>Increased Facebook activity to build ongoing dialog about PNB’s artists and work. Over the four-year grant period, the organization's&#160;Facebook page grew from 2,000 followers to more than 90,000; </li><li>More visually impactful images in promotions to communicate immediacy and excitement; and</li><li>A series of videos showing everyday goings-on in PNB studios and classrooms which, after a slow start, were viewed more than five million times in their first four years. </li></ul><p> <img alt="PNB-dancers.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/showing-young-people-they-belong-at-the-ballet/PNB-dancers.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> PNB dancers discussing new work being presented at Teen Night, 2018 © Lindsay Thomas</p><p> <strong>Continued Success with Teens</strong></p><p>PNB’s momentum with teens has continued. TeenTix, for example, sells thousands of tickets annually, even as patrons age out of the program and are replaced by new ones. (A dip in 2016–2017, according to Director of Marketing and Communications Lia Chiarelli, was probably due to relatively few well-known classical works, the biggest attraction for teens new to ballet.) </p><p>The ability to tap TeenTix’s community has been critical to encouraging teens to give PNB a try. In fact, many TeenTix buyers are new to PNB; TeenTix is the first purchase for nearly half (48 percent) of the trackable TeenTix households (that is, neither those teens nor their parents had bought in the past). What’s more, 40 percent of those first-time purchasers return to PNB—a remarkably high level given field-wide estimates that 80 to 90 percent of first-time performing arts patrons never come back. Many also appear to be staying with PNB once they age out of TeenTix. Two-thirds (66 percent) of those returning first-timers eventually purchase a ticket outside of TeenTix—either without a discounted offer or through programs targeting older patrons, such as 25 &amp; Under. </p><p>The size of Teen Night audiences varies but they’re often near capacity, mostly attracting teens who already know the company (such as those in PNB's school). Chiarelli suspects that’s because PNB hasn’t found a partner able to attract an outside teen audience. Still, she says, Teen Night is important for strengthening bonds with existing PNB devotees.</p><p> <img alt="PNB-Case-Study-Update-FINAL-chart.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/showing-young-people-they-belong-at-the-ballet/PNB-Case-Study-Update-FINAL-chart.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;</p><p> <strong>Digital Marketing Evolves</strong></p><p>Since 2013, digital marketing has become increasingly competitive, as the amount of digital content has grown and social media companies have exerted more control over distribution. At the same time, PNB’s needs have changed, so the company is using digital media differently. “Four or five years ago, getting exposure on social media was free and easy; organic content was sent to a large audience,” says Chiarelli. “Our audience is bigger now, but reach is less because it is at the whim of social media companies.” PNB has expanded to other platforms to boost that reach, including <a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/pnballet?lang=en">Twitter</a> and <a href="https&#58;//www.instagram.com/pacificnorthwestballet/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, where it has more than 200,000 followers, even more than on <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/PNBallet/">Facebook</a>. </p><p>The company still creates videos regularly but they serve a different purpose now. Initially, the goal was to familiarize young patrons with ballet and the company. But because many videos now exist to do just that, this is no longer a focus. Instead, videos showcase programs currently in the works, with a trailer, rehearsal previews and performance clips. The videos are featured prominently online where patrons can purchase tickets, in part to drive those purchases. That sales motive, however, is not the primary one. Says Chiarelli, “Our driving principal is to produce content that is true to PNB and to the program, and highlights the artist and work in a positive way.”</p><p> <strong>New Efforts to Attract 20- to 40-Year Olds</strong></p><p>Like many performing arts organizations, PNB finds the 20- to 40-year-old audience more of a challenge—but also sees engaging that group as critically important. PNB is now targeting this cohort with new ticketing initiatives and programs, which are being supported by funding through The Wallace Foundation’s <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/building-audiences-for-the-arts.aspx"> <em>Building Audiences for Sustainability</em></a> initiative. </p><p>To that end, PNB replaced the &quot;25 &amp; Under&quot; reduced-price ticket program with The Pointe, an e-mail-based program for patrons age 40 and under whose members receive reduced-price, single-ticket offers for every performance. (Earlier, people age 25 to 39 could buy reduced-price subscriptions, but not single tickets.) Sales from The Pointe are increasing, though they have yet to reach the peak levels of 25 &amp; Under. The Backstage Pass program is now “Young Patron’s Circle,” offering the same reduced-price subscriptions and social opportunities as before. </p><p>But PNB’s latest research suggests that “castle on the hill” perceptions remain for many in this age group, and reduced-price tickets alone aren’t enough to break through. To challenge those assumptions, the company has started staging new kinds of performances, such as free contemporary dance in Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park in 2016 and 2017, and on the lawn outside the performance hall in 2018. It also began offering one “Beer &amp; Ballet” performance with each program, targeting 21- to 45-year-olds with $29 tickets and beer specials. This program is growing in popularity, selling 248 tickets when it was introduced in the second half of the 2016–2017 season, and 917 by spring of 2017–2018. </p><p> <strong>Ongoing Evolution</strong></p><p>PNB also continues to monitor young people’s expectations, to ensure its future relevance. “There’s a place for you here” means different things to different generations, which need to be engaged on their terms. For example, in a recent round of focus groups with millennials, participants voiced fewer perceptions of PNB as elitist and stuffy than in the past. But they did comment that the audience was overwhelmingly white.<a name="_ftnref1" href="#_ftn1"><sup>1</sup>​​ </a> “Young people’s sensitivities are different now. They are looking for a community to be equitable and inclusive and for ballet to evolve,” says Walker. “That’s important to us too. Our audience and company are more diverse than before. We are moving in the right direction.” </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> <a name="_ftn1" href="#_ftnref1">&#160;</a>1 Young people’s sensitivity to diversity and inclusion is not unique to PNB’s research; it also surfaced, for example, in California Symphony’s conversations with millennial and Gen-X audience members; see Aubrey Bergauer, <a href="https&#58;//medium.com/%40AubreyBergauer/orchestra-x-the-results-ec12e48f28fb">Orchestra X&#58; The Results</a>.</p>Following success attracting teens, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is working to draw 20- to 40-year-oldsGP0|#3684430d-1156-47e2-905a-086b771432fd;L0|#03684430d-1156-47e2-905a-086b771432fd|Building audiences for the arts;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#f8b72a19-801c-4c88-a951-46e5c8f4b419;L0|#0f8b72a19-801c-4c88-a951-46e5c8f4b419|Strategies for Expanding Arts AudiencesGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Bob Harlow82<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/pnb-case-study-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2018-07-27T04:00:00ZFollowing success attracting teens, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is working to draw 20-to-40-year-olds7/26/2018 10:00:23 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Showing Young People They Belong at the Ballet Following success attracting teens, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is working 3740https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Talking to Parents about Social and Emotional Learning9894<p>​​​​​Whenever we publish a blog post or report in our Knowledge Center on <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">Social and Emotional Learning</a> (SEL), our digital channels buzz with interest. Much of the insights and information we’ve gathered has centered around in- and out-of-school programs that help children build the skills they need to succeed academically and in life. Now, an organization called Learning Heroes is bringing parents into the equation. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Bibb-Headshot.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Talking-to-Parents-about-Social-and-Emotional-Learning-/Bibb-Headshot.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;280px;" />Founded by communications and policy veteran Bibb Hubbard, Learning Heroes seeks to inform and equip parents and guardians with tools and ideas, so they can support their children’s educational and developmental success. A big part of the organization’s work to date involves connecting parents and others in the field to resources, which can be found at the nonprofit’s website&#58; <a href="https&#58;//bealearninghero.org/" target="_blank">www.BeALearningHero.org</a>. </p><p>Learning Heroes recently published a report to help schools and organizations communicate with parents about SEL. The report<em>, </em> <a href="https&#58;//bealearninghero.org/parent-mindsets/" target="_blank"> <em>Developing Life Skills in Children&#58; A Road Map for Communicating with Parents</em></a>, has a lot to say about the language of SEL, or what parents more comfortably call “life skills,” and draws on findings from Edge Research, the same firm that conducted Wallace’s 2016 research on the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sel-feedback-and-communications-insights-from-the-field.aspx">linguistic landscape surrounding SEL terminology</a>. In addition to the current Learning Heroes report, Hubbard says, the organization is co-developing with the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development a communications playbook that will help translate the findings and offer additional tools for people in the field. We spoke to Hubbard about the research and the important role parents play in SEL development. </p><p> <strong>The&#160;​new report focuses on research you recently conducted to help practitioners communicate with K-8 parents about the development of social, emotional, cognitive and academic skills in their children.&#160; Why is the focus on parents important? </strong></p><p>We’re now entering a unique moment, where there is greater awareness and acceptance of the fact that learning has social, emotional, cognitive and academic dimensions. As a result, school systems and out-of-school programs are thinking in explicit, intentional ways about how to teach these skills at home, at school&#160;and in after-school settings. But if these efforts are to succeed, practitioners need to join forces with parents, who see themselves as primarily responsible for their children’s education. In particular, our hope is for practitioners to seek guidance and input from parents, as they are the experts on their own children. Further, as practitioners orient parents to instructional approaches that might be new or different from what they experienced as students, it underscores the impact these approaches will have on their children.</p><p> <strong>When the research came back what was most surprising about the way that parents viewed SEL? And can you give a couple of examples of how this influenced your report?</strong></p><p>Parents think the development of these skills and traits are important for their child’s overall development. I was not surprised that parents do not understand some of the “edu-jargon” used to describe different skills and traits, even though they support many of the underlying concepts. I was surprised, however, to find that even words practitioners may think of as innocuous, like “curiosity” or “resilience,” can have negative connotations for parents. For example, middle school parents, in particular, worry about their children being curious about the wrong things, especially because of peer pressure. And many parents want to shield their children from the types of negative experiences that might require resilience. So how we talk about social, emotional and academic learning in ways that translate for parents became a big focus of our report.</p><p> <strong>The report speaks not just about SEL but addresses a wider range of “social, emotional, cognitive and academic” skills or traits. Why did you broaden the scope?</strong></p><p> <a href="https&#58;//www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/evidence-base-learn/" target="_blank">Research has found</a> that the social, emotional, cognitive and academic dimensions of learning are deeply connected. Moreover, in focus groups, parents prioritized a wide range of skills across these dimensions and that was confirmed in the nationally representative survey of parents. We wanted to be true to both what the science tells us, as reflected in the range of skills incorporated into various frameworks, and to what families want for their children.</p><p> <strong>Talking about language, what did you learn about the language people use to describe SEL skills? What does this mean for communication with parents?</strong></p><p>“Life skills” is the term parents prefer to describe the skills and traits that they identify as most important for their children to develop. They prefer this term (31%) over “social, emotional and academic development,” “character development” and “social and emotional learning,” by at least 2-to-1. Some of the reasons they give are that it’s “simple,” “all encompassing” and describes the skills people use “every day in life, schools, jobs and family.” Our advice is to use language parents understand to build bridges to more technical terms. We also found that parents respond very positively to videos that provide real-life examples of what integrating social, emotional, cognitive and academic development can look like in practice.</p><p> <strong>It seems from the research that parents, for the most part, believe SEL skills are essential but many think they should be taught at home with reinforcement from schools, which leads to a lot of concern about schools rating or assessing their children on SEL. How should schools, districts and others talk to parents about this concern? </strong></p><p>Two important findings from our survey are that parents view home as the place where these skills should primarily be “taught” and schools as the place where they are “reinforced.” Second, while they fully expect to partner with schools, they don’t want schools to overstep their role. The line in the sand is around measurement and accountability. More than a third of parents worry about their child being labeled for life (35%) or graded (34%) on skills that they view as too subjective or personal to measure. In fact, only 16% indicate it would be helpful to get a separate grade on their child’s report card to understand their progress on these skills. Instead, parents are eager to hear from teachers about how their child is doing in the form of parent-teacher conferences, folder notes, emails and more regular communications, particularly if there’s a problem. </p><p> <strong>What does an effective partnership between teachers and parents look like? What are some pitfalls teachers and schools should try to avoid? </strong></p><p> Because parents feel deeply responsible for their children’s well-being and success in school and in life, it’s important to respect their authority as their children’s primary advocates—after all, parents know their children best. If practitioners approach this work as a true partnership by sharing new ideas and approaches, eliciting the specific skills that matter most to parents&#160;and understanding what those skills might look like in the context of local communities and cultures, rather than trying to convince parents certain skills are more important than others through a communications campaign, they’ll get much farther.</p>New report from Learning Heroes seeks to help schools and organizations better communicate with parents GP0|#828168db-5292-472e-b16d-e0415fa7586a;L0|#0828168db-5292-472e-b16d-e0415fa7586a|life skills;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#7beabf34-e4d3-43ee-8904-83534354498e;L0|#07beabf34-e4d3-43ee-8904-83534354498e|parents;GP0|#b9334c26-a923-4388-bc0a-e17897e654f7;L0|#0b9334c26-a923-4388-bc0a-e17897e654f7|schools;GP0|#57aaaed6-d4f9-43f2-b1ba-5385592c62bd;L0|#057aaaed6-d4f9-43f2-b1ba-5385592c62bd|resources;GP0|#b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc;L0|#0b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc|SELGP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/talking-to-parents-SEL-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2018-07-19T04:00:00ZNew report from Learning Heroes seeks to help schools and organizations better communicate with parents7/24/2018 8:59:32 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Talking to Parents about Social and Emotional Learning New report from Learning Heroes seeks to help schools and 922https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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