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Year’s Top Blog Posts Signal Interest in SEL, School Leadership326GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts<p>​​​​I​f we can glean any trends from our list of most popular posts published on the Wallace Blog this year, it might be&#58; Everything is connected. From arts education programs focused on urban tweens to performing arts organizations with varied audiences, the question seems to be how to get people in the door. Then once there, how to keep them…just as school districts are struggling to retain principals and might find support in RAND’s groundbreaking principal pipeline research. And speaking of school leaders, their growing concern for children’s social and emotional learning (SEL) is more evident than ever.&#160;<br></p><p>We’ve got all that and more in our Top 10 list this year, so go ahead and get connected&#58;&#160;<br></p><p> 10)&#160;<strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/the-benefits-of-arts-education-for-urban-tweens.aspx">The Benefits of Arts Education for Urban Tweens</a></strong><strong>&#58;</strong> Does high-quality arts programming benefit urban tweens? What does it take to recruit young people to these programs—and keep them coming back? Read highlights from this webinar hosted by The National Guild for Community Arts Education and drawn from research and practice in our Youth Arts Initiative. <br><br> 9<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span><strong> </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/principal-retention-findings-from-ppi-report.aspx"><strong>Systematic Approach to Developing School Leaders Pays Off for Principal Retention</strong></a><strong>&#58;</strong> Principal turnover disrupts schools, teachers and students, and the cost to replace a principal is about $75,000. This blog post investigates the principal retention finding of &#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">RAND’s groundbreaking report</a> on building principal pipelines. <br><br> 8<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span><strong> </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/what-if-districts-focused-not-just-on-preparing-and-hiring-principals-but-also-retaining-them.aspx"><strong>What If Districts Focused Not Just on Preparing and Hiring Principals But Also Retaining Them</strong></a><strong>&#58;</strong> For more on principal retention, Marina Cofield, then the senior executive director of the Office of Leadership at the New York Department of Education, discusses why the nation’s largest school system decided that school leader retention mattered—and what the district did about it.<br><br> 7<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span> <strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/could-federal-funding-help-pay-for-arts-ed-in-your-school.aspx">Could Federal Funding Help Pay for Arts Education in Your School?</a></strong> The authors of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/review-of-evidence-arts-education-research-essa.aspx">a report exploring research on approaches to arts education</a> under the Every Student Succeeds Act discuss the types of activities and approaches that qualify for funding, the results arts-education interventions could yield and how educators might use their report to improve arts education in their schools.<br><br> 6<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span> <strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/five-organizations-five-different-strategies-to-build-arts-audiences.aspx">Five Organizations, Five Different Strategies to Build Arts Audiences</a></strong><strong>&#58;&#160; </strong>Organizations&#160;from our Building Audiences for Sustainability (BAS) initiative share early results from their efforts to tap new audiences while continuing to engage current attendees. As detailed in accounts from our BAS Stories Project, the work of the five varies&#160;widely;&#160;some strategies show&#160;success, some falter&#160;and many fall somewhere in between.<br><br> 5<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span><strong> </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/implementation-gets-the-job-done-benefiting-kids-by-strengthening-practices.aspx"><strong>Implementation Gets the Job Done, Benefitting Kids by Strengthening Practices</strong></a><strong>&#58; </strong>Wallace’s recently retired director of research, Ed Pauly, shares insights from his decades-long career into why implementation studies matter, highlighting examples from recent Wallace work.<br><br> 4<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span> <strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/looking-toward-a-nation-at-hope.aspx">Looking Toward a Nation at Hope&#58;</a></strong><strong> </strong>Rooted in findings that academic learning and social and emotional learning are intertwined, <a href="http&#58;//nationathope.org/report-from-the-nation/">a report released earlier this year by The Aspen Institute</a> shares recommendations and next steps for supporting a more holistic learning approach.<br><br> 3<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span> <strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/choosing-the-right-social-and-emotional-learning-programs-and-practices.aspx">Choosing the Right Social and Emotional Learning Programs and Practices</a></strong><strong>&#58; </strong>More from the SEL front&#58; RAND researchers discuss the importance of social and emotional learning and their new guide meant to help educators adopt evidence-based programs that fit needs of students and communities.<br><br> 2<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span>&#160;<strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/what-leading-for-equity-can-look-like-paul-fleming.aspx">What Leading for Equity Can Look Like</a></strong><strong>&#58; </strong>Paul Fleming, assistant commissioner for the teachers and Leaders Division at the Tennessee Department of Education, discusses the importance of equity and how a publication on the subject by a statewide team seeks to help schools and districts in Tennessee better support all students.<br><br> 1<span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;">)</span><strong>​ </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/helping-principals-support-social-and-emotional-learning.aspx"><strong>Helping Principals Support Social and Emotional Learning</strong></a><strong>&#58; </strong>It’s no surprise that our top post of 2019 falls at the crossroads of school leadership and SEL&#58; Here, guest author Eric Cardwell, president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, tells of his conversations with educators around the country and the guide for SEL implementation that came out of them. </p> <br>Wallace editorial team792019-12-04T05:00:00ZRead the most popular stories we published this year and the research that inspired them.12/4/2019 5:57:28 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Year’s Top Blog Posts Signal Interest in SEL, School Leadership Read the most popular stories we published this year and 785https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Staff Expertise, Careful Communications to Parents Fuel Successful SEL Efforts5426GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​Growing up in a home with domestic violence, Byron Sanders remembers&#160;afterschool programs being&#160;a refuge for him.&#160;In football, track and theater,&#160; the president and CEO of Big Thought in Dallas said, he could be a “happy, effervescent kid.”</p><p>“Afterschool was also my pathway to opportunity,” he told the audience of 150 educators and youth development leaders at an October forum in Chicago hosted by The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance. Still, his afterschool experience fell short of its potential, he said, because the social and emotional skills he needed weren’t intentionally taught. That’s still too often the case in afterschool programs, he observed. “How many kids do you know of today,” he asked, “who can access that power, which is what social and emotional learning truly is?”<br></p><p>Social and emotional skills—which can include working productively with a group, managing feelings and resolving conflicts—are increasingly recognized as a key to success in the modern workforce, along with academic learning. A recent <a href="https&#58;//www.nber.org/papers/w21473">study</a> by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that jobs requiring high levels of social interaction made up a growing share of the U.S. labor force, while the percentage of jobs not requiring social skills declined. </p><p>Accordingly, efforts to integrate social and emotional learning (SEL) with academic and out-of-school time have grown exponentially in the past decade. The day-long forum, designed as a pre-conference in advance of the inaugural SEL Exchange hosted by The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), which drew approximately 1,500 participants, aimed to build on that momentum. Youth development leaders, researchers and educators attending the pre-conference event discussed the latest SEL research and two of the field’s biggest challenges—developing the ability of adults to teach SEL skills and communicating the importance of those skills to the uninitiated.</p><p>“Sometimes it's hard to communicate successfully to people who are skeptics, non-believers or just not yet dialed into this channel,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. Here are highlights from a few of the panel discussions. </p><p><strong>The neuroscience of SEL</strong><br> Deborah Moroney, managing director at American Institutes for Research and a leading researcher on social and emotional learning, remarked on how far the field of social and emotional learning in out-of-school time has come. In the 1990s, researchers began to quantify the effect of afterschool programs on young people’s lives, including long-term outcomes such as finding employment and avoiding incarceration, she said. “We didn’t call it ‘social-emotional learning’ at the time, but the studies were there.”<strong></strong></p><p>The catalyst that linked SEL with out-of-school time, Moroney believes, came in 2007 when Roger Weissberg and Joseph Durlak released a pivotal study of existing research, <em><a href="https&#58;//casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PDF-1-the-impact-of-after-school-programs-that-promote-personal-and-social-skills-executive-summary.pdf">The Impact of After-School Programs that Promote Personal and Social Skills.</a></em> “They found that when young people participate in high quality programs defined as—you can say this with me,” she told the audience, “SAFE&#58; sequenced, active, focused and explicit—that they experienced social-emotional growth linked to academic outcomes.” </p><p>Some of the latest SEL research comes from neuroscience. Karen Pittman, president and CEO of Forum for Youth Investment, shared findings from a series of articles by the Science of Learning and Development Project. “What they said wasn’t new,” she noted, “but how they said it was important.”</p><p>Optimal conditions for learning exist, scientists found, in the context of strong relationships, a sense of safety and belonging, rich instruction, individualized supports, and intentional development of essential mindsets, skills and habits, she said. </p><p>The catch is, “we can’t just pick some of these things,” Pittman said. “At the point where we’re not doing all of these things at a threshold of doing good, we actually could be doing harm.”</p><p>For instance, she explained, “we can’t just say, ‘We have to do social-emotional skill-building, let’s bring in a curriculum,’ if we haven’t paid attention to relationships and belonging.”</p><p>But when learning experiences are optimal, she said, “you can actually undo the damage of adversity.&quot;<br></p><p><strong>‘Who you are changes kids’</strong><br> Successfully incorporating SEL skill-building into academics or youth programs depends on having staff competent in using those skills themselves, noted Ron Berger, chief academic officer at EL Education, which provides professional development to a national network of schools. “Who you are is what changes kids—what your staff models.”</p><p>To model strong SEL skills, staff need more than training, Berger said. “There is no way you can build in a couple of days a week of professional learning and assume that’s going to change them. You have to create cultures in schools that are engines for professional growth.”</p><p>That means creating norms for social interaction, such as for dealing with conflict or addressing racial or gender bias, he said. In one school he worked with, the principal inherited a toxic culture. To lay a foundation for new norms, Berger worked with the school on building relationships among adults. “We spent two days as a staff having conversations,” he said. “The whole staff had never been in a circle before. They had always faced the principal. They had never talked about their personal lives, their professional vision. It was hard.”</p><p>BellXcel, a national nonprofit offering afterschool and summer programs, takes a similarly holistic approach to developing SEL skills in adults and kids, said Brenda McLaughlin, chief strategy officer. In addition to professional development, its approach to culture-building includes agreements between staff and students on how to interact with each other and daily “community time” for students to reflect on social and emotional learning. The BellXcel curriculum has language in each lesson for building students’ “growth mindset,” or the belief that their abilities are not fixed but can grow with effort. Cultural norms are continually reinforced, McLaughlin said.</p><p>“Having structures in place over time will change the culture,” she explained. “If you’re not willing to write up your culture and bring it up in staff meetings, people are going to act how they’ve always acted.”<br> </p><p><strong>When ‘grit’ is a dirty word</strong><br> Parents are essential allies in developing children’s SEL skills. Yet the way that practitioners talk about those skills can be confusing to parents, said Bibb Hubbard, president of Learning Heroes, a national nonprofit that provides resources for PTAs, schools, and other organizations to help educate parents.</p><p>A <a href="https&#58;//r50gh2ss1ic2mww8s3uvjvq1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/DLS-Report-2018-for-distribution-single-pages.pdf">large-scale national study</a> by Learning Heroes found that while K-8 parents agreed on the importance of some SEL competencies such as respect, confidence and problem-solving, they didn’t give much weight to others, including growth mindset, executive functioning and grit, because they didn’t understand them, said Hubbard. “Many folks in out-of-school settings use ‘grit.’ For parents, it sounds negative, dirty, like a struggle. And parents are not comfortable with their kids struggling. They think, ‘I’m not doing my job if they’re having to struggle.’”</p><p>When communicating about the importance of SEL, Hubbard explained, it’s important to carefully define unfamiliar terms and illustrate them with real-life examples.</p><p>Higher Achievement, a national nonprofit with a year-round academic enrichment program for middle school students, partnered with Learning Heroes to pilot an approach to discussing SEL with parents. Lynsey Wood Jeffries, Higher Achievement CEO, explained that those conversations need to be carefully framed. “Families feel, ‘It’s my responsibility that my child become a good human being,’ so training on social-emotion learning for families can come across awkwardly.”</p><p>To overcome that obstacle, Higher Achievement talks about SEL in the context of a goal the nonprofit shares with parents&#58; preparing students to enter college preparatory high schools, Jeffries explained. “To get into a good high school takes a whole host of social-emotional skills. It takes self-efficacy, to feel, ‘I can get into the school and I’m going to take steps to do it.’ It takes executive function, getting all the materials in on time . . .”</p><p>While OST practitioners need to take care in how they communicate about SEL with families, Hubbard said, the good news is that “parents are eager and interested to learn more. So there’s great opportunity there.”</p><p><em>The Wallace Foundation will release a full report on the </em>SEL + OST = Perfect Together<em> forum early in 2020.</em></p> ​<br>Elizabeth Duffrin972019-11-06T05:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.11/6/2019 3:08:41 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Staff Expertise, Careful Communications to Parents Fuel Successful SEL Efforts A forum raises considerations for those 861https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Choosing the Right Social and Emotional Learning Programs and Practices16091GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Educators have become increasingly interested in supporting students to cultivate inter- and intra-personal skills such as collaborative teamwork, self-management and responsible decision making – skills that are developed through the process of social and emotional learning (SEL). The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has created new opportunities for educators to incorporate evidence-based SEL interventions (such as curricula, programs, and practices) into their schools and classrooms. Educators across the country are not only expressing support for SEL but are adopting programs and practices to promote SEL. A new <a href="https&#58;//www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2739.html">guide</a> we developed with colleagues at the nonpartisan RAND Corporation is meant to help educators adopt evidenced-based interventions that fit the needs of their students and communities. </p><p>Identifying evidence-based interventions is one important step in reaping the benefits of SEL-related investments. Educators can use our 2017 <a href="https&#58;//www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2133.html">report</a> to learn more about SEL interventions that align with ESSA’s standards of evidence. Another <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/Navigating-Social-and-Emotional-Learning-from-the-Inside-Out.pdf">guide</a> by Harvard University professor Stephanie Jones and colleagues synthesizes key information about SEL interventions, including the focus of the intervention, the ages or grade levels of students for whom the intervention was designed and the instructional approach utilized. </p><p>Another important step in maximizing the benefits of investments in SEL is matching these investments to the local context. Just as we would expect educators to select academic curricula based on their alignment with local education standards and the needs of students in their communities, the selection of SEL interventions should be based on similar criteria. </p><p>To support state and local education leaders in selecting evidence-based SEL interventions, our new <a href="https&#58;//www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2739.html">guide</a> shows how to conduct an assessment for SEL to identify the needs of their specific students and community. A needs assessment is a systematic approach to identifying strengths and areas that need improvement, as well as other contextual factors that might influence the adoption and implementation of new interventions. A needs assessment enables educators to be more confident that the SEL interventions they choose focus on areas of need and are therefore more likely to produce the desired improvements. An assessment is also required for certain ESSA funding streams.</p><p>Carrying out a needs assessment involves several steps&#58; (1) identifying a range of data sources that provide information about student performance, behaviors and attitudes and about classroom and school-level practices and resources; (2) analyzing and synthesizing these data; (3) and seeking input from stakeholder groups including educators, parents, students and community members. </p><p>Educators conducting a needs assessment to inform decisions about SEL may want to consider the following guidance&#58;</p><ul><li>Identify assessments that measure students’ social and emotional skills to understand where students are starting out and to monitor progress. <a href="https&#58;//www.rand.org/education-and-labor/projects/assessments.html">Online tools</a> can help provide information about these assessments and their features, but educators should interpret results from assessments cautiously and in the context of other information such as student academic achievement, school attendance and behavioral data.</li><li>Interpret student data with consideration for the broader context in which student learning takes place; the classroom environment, school policies and surrounding community conditions can all influence students’ social and emotional development.</li><li>Consider partnering with researchers and technical assistance organizations to analyze and make sense of data on SEL needs.</li><li>Where multiple needs are identified, focus on those needs most aligned with local goals and educational priorities.</li><li>Promote the goal of equitable opportunities across student groups by ensuring that the collection and analysis of data, and the decisions that result because of the data, are designed to meet the needs of all, rather than just some, students.</li></ul><p>It is important to remember that needs can change and will likely evolve as schools see students developing the skills that led educators and administrators to seek out evidence-based SEL interventions in the first place. Educators across the country are working to help their students develop the capabilities that will maximize their opportunities to achieve productive, engaged, and rewarding lives. Being attuned to student and community needs—and the ways these change over time—could also help dedicated educators focus their time and resources on the areas where they might have the greatest impact.</p><p><em>Stephani Wrabel is an associate policy researcher and Laura Hamilton is distinguished chair in learning and assessment and a senior behavioral scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. Both are members of the faculty of the Pardee RAND Graduate School.</em></p> Stephani Wrabel and Laura Hamilton932019-02-05T05:00:00ZNew guide helps educators adopt interventions that fit needs of students and communities.2/5/2019 3:00:52 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Choosing the Right Social and Emotional Learning Programs and Practices New guide helps educators adopt interventions that 2981https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Looking Toward a Nation at Hope16104GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>“I don’t see this as an initiative – I see this as the way we do schools.” </p><p>That comment by LaTanya McDade, chief education officer in Chicago Public Schools, captured the spirit at the launch in Washington, D.C., of a new report&#58; <a href="http&#58;//nationathope.org/report-from-the-nation/"><em>From A Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope&#58; Recommendations from the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.</em></a> </p><p>The Wallace Foundation was one of a group of foundations funding the commission’s work, which has unfolded over the past two years or so, and was one of more than 100 signatories to its recommendations.</p><p>Although they have no direct authority, national commissions can play important roles in promoting dialogue and defining issues. In 1983, the landmark report <em>A Nation at Risk </em>was credited with sparking the standards-based accountability movement. In a nod to that report, the new report’s title, coined by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, referenced the power of that earlier report as an agenda-setting device–but with the twist that its findings give us new hope for progress. </p><p>If <em>A Nation at Risk </em>focused on a particular kind of accountability, <em>A Nation at Hope </em>urges a broader focus on tapping the <em>combined </em>forces of academic learning and social and emotional learning&#58; “After two decades of education debates that produced deep passions and deeper divisions, we have a chance for a fresh start. A growing movement dedicated to the social, emotional and academic well-being of children is reshaping learning and changing lives across America. On the strength of its remarkable consensus, a nation at risk is finally a nation at hope.”</p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="SEAD-Report-Launch-ch1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Looking-Toward-a-Nation-at-Hope/SEAD-Report-Launch-ch1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>At the heart of the report is a finding that “Social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and academic development are deeply intertwined in the brain and in behavior and together influence school and life outcomes, including higher education, physical and mental health, economic well-being, and civic engagement.” This means that providing more opportunities for acquiring social and emotional skills has the chance to improve both academic outcomes, and the ability to compete in the labor market, the report concludes.</p><p>An implication, said Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a professor at the USC Rossier School of Education, is that educators focus both on transferring knowledge to students, and seeking to understand them and create a climate where learning can flourish. In addition to recognizing that we need to “enable children to relate well to other people and manage emotions,” we need to recognize that “the process of building knowledge can often be connected to emotions.” </p><p>Rooted on the finding that academic learning and social and emotional learning are “intertwined,” the report makes key six recommendations&#58; </p><ul><li>Set a vision for student success that prioritizes the whole child.</li><li>Transform learning settings so they are physically and emotionally safe and foster strong bonds among students and adults.</li><li>Change instruction to teach students social, emotional and cognitive skills; embed these skills in academics and schoolwide practices.</li><li>Build adult expertise in child and adolescent development.</li><li>Align resources and leverage partnerships across schools, families and communities to address the whole child.</li><li>Forge closer connections between research and practice to generate useful, actionable information for educators.</li></ul><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="SEAD-Report-Launch-ch2.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Looking-Toward-a-Nation-at-Hope/SEAD-Report-Launch-ch2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>The livestreamed launch saw a broad range of support for the commission’s work.</p><p>Josh Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable representing the nation’s 200 largest corporations employing 17 million people, said that over the past two years, concerns have grown among his members that while “they can find people, they can’t find people who are prepared technically and with the soft skills they need to enter the workforce.” In 2017, he noted, when asked about the greatest headwinds they face, for the first time concerns about the labor force nudged out regulation; by 2018, labor was the lead concern by a two-to-one margin. Businesses, he said, are already engaged in some way “to try to make sure that the education system is preparing graduates to do the jobs they have.” </p><p>From the policy community, Gov. Mitch Daniels applauded the notion that SEL was a “missing ingredient” in educational attainment, saying “this report is timely, necessary and the gap is not going to be filled by the environments that the children go home to after schools.” He also urged inclusion of social and emotional learning in the curricula of the nation’s 1,300 colleges of education, one of the recommendations in the report.</p><p>Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell offered that “movements will spread when there are narratives of people doing this right,” and suggested that parent-teacher associations and others could share stories of success that can be emulated and adapted locally rather than in a “top-down” manner. </p><p>Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, said a focus on social and emotional learning was a strong fit with the League’s emphasis on excellence and equity. “There is something commonsensical about this. For us to raise the next generation, we have to imbue them with a range of skills. Now we have to be much more intentional about it because of changes in family structure, diversity and globalization.”</p><p>He, like others, urged that community-based organizations providing afterschool be part of the solution. “It’s going to take a symphony, it’s going to take an orchestra, I want to make sure afterschool providers are in the band and not in the stands.”</p><p>That was a theme also shared by Josh Garcia, deputy superintendent in Tacoma Public Schools, a Wallace grantee, who emphasized the importance of having multiple partners and not just one. He described an “accordion strategy” used over the past decade to shape the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative that comprised four shifts&#58; schools, parents, afterschool providers and partnerships between all three. By accordion, he meant devising plans, listening to the community for ideas and input, and then closing the accordion to revise the plan–then repeating the process. Garcia credited the plan for helping boost high school graduation ratesfrom 55 percent in 2010 to 89 percent in 2018, along with significant decreases in absenteeism, and tardiness and expulsions.</p><p>LaTanya McDade of Chicago Public Schools emphasized the value of partnerships with research organizations, noting the Chicago schools partnership with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, and emphasizing the value of public-facing reports that both mark progress and hold the district and its partners accountable. “When you expose the data in a meaningful way, then you are dealing with a common set of facts, and that builds understanding in the community that this work really matters.”</p><p>An example of research that affected practice was a study by the Consortium highlighting differential disciplinary patterns across schools. Fixing that involved changing adult practice, she noted. For example, Sabrina Anderson, a principal in Chicago Public Schools, described how they now begin each morning with a chance for students to share anythingthat would stop them from learning. When conflicts do arise, students in a dispute go to the “peace center” in the classroom, turn over a water bottle filled with glitter and watch the glitter fall to the bottom–reminding them to take the time to listen and talk through their differences. </p><p>Panelists, as well as Tim Shriver, co-chair of the commission, urged organizations and individuals to act on the recommendations.</p><p>“The question before is all of us is can we mount the energy on the implementation and execution side and can we hold together this cross section which includes teachers, and business and community providers to push sensible change,” said Morial of the National Urban League. “What’s exciting about this is this is the next generation of education reform with excellence and equity as its guiding principle.”</p><p>And Becky Pringle, vice president of the National Education Association, returned to the theme that in outlining a consensus, the report created the ground for action at the local and state levels&#58; “I am energized that we are putting students at the core of this work. The report is so comprehensive and so well structured. Thank you. We have the research, we have the evidence…This is power, and together we will be worthy of our students.”</p><p>Wallace’s own work focuses on learning more about the intersection of schools and out-of-school time organizations in providing opportunities for students to acquire social and emotional skills. You can read about what we’ve already learned about social and emotional learning <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">here</a>. </p> Lucas Bernays Held182019-01-15T05:00:00ZNew report from national commission taps combined forces of academic learning and social and emotional development1/16/2019 3:36:15 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Looking Toward a Nation at Hope New report from national commission taps combined forces of academic learning and social 2488https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Helping Principals Support Social and Emotional Learning10568GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a hot topic in schools across the nation—and for good reason&#58; A <a href="https&#58;//www.naesp.org/pre-k-8-school-leader-2018-10-year-study">recent survey</a> of elementary and middle school principals shows a high degree of concern about issues associated with student mental health and socioemotional needs. Principals and their teams of educators I’ve met across the country seem to agree, then, that sound development of SEL skills is imperative to students’ success in school and in life. </p><p>After becoming president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), I took a two-week, 4,800-mile, 28-school road trip across the United States to talk with other principals, school administrators and teachers to find out what they’re proudest of in their schools and what keeps them up at night. (Check out #PrincipalRoadTrip on Twitter to read about where I visited and what I learned on my Epic Ed-venture.)</p><p>The greater educational community understands that student success in the classroom and out of the school setting is predicated on the foundation SEL provides. Research shows that classrooms function more effectively and student learning increases when children are able to focus their attention, manage their negative emotions, navigate their relationships and persist in the face of difficulty. </p><p>SEL is a fairly new concept. In 2018, it ranked as the top concern among participating principals in the survey, which formed the basis of NAESP’s <em>Pre-K–8 School Leader in 2018&#58; A 10-Year Study </em>cited above. But issues such as self-management and mental health weren’t always a priority in schools. In the same survey, just 10 years prior, none of these student-related issues was identified as major concerns. </p><p>Despite SEL’s importance, child development, education and health care experts all agree that challenges remain as schools navigate the implementation process for their students. That’s why NAESP wanted to do something to help principals help their students. Enter longtime NAESP partner The Wallace Foundation, which has commissioned extensive research on SEL in recent years. The end result of this collaboration was <strong> </strong><em><strong>Leading Lessons</strong></em><em><strong>&#58; Social and Emotional Learning</strong></em> (https&#58;//www.naesp.org/principal-novemberdecember-2018-safe-healthy-schools/leading-lessons-social-and-emotional-learning). </p><p>The guide addresses developing SEL instructional skills and strategies and ways for schools to work with out-of-school programs to keep the SEL continuum of learning going outside of the classroom. Principals can use the guide to identify the right SEL focus area—interpersonal skills, character, cognitive regulation, emotional processes and mindset—to ensure student growth in their schools.</p><p>Then, collaborating with their teachers and leadership teams, they can select an existing program whose primary focus matches what has been identified as a key focus area for that school. I know firsthand that it’s not as simple as just picking a program, though. Partnering with the<em> right</em> SEL program for your school can be the key to success. <em>Leading Lessons</em> offers a resource section that features 25 leading SEL and character development programs profiled in The Wallace Foundation’s <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx"> <em>Navigating SEL From the Inside Out</em> </a>report, with descriptions of the primary focus and other details of each program. </p><p>What else did I learn from my conversations with educators across the country? This is a nationwide initiative. It didn’t matter if I was visiting a rural school in Wisconsin or an urban school in Kentucky; educators spoke in unison about the need for systematic implementation of SEL opportunities for their students. </p><p> <em>Eric Cardwell is a principal in Michigan and president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. </em></p>Eric Cardwell922019-01-03T05:00:00ZNew guide addresses systematic implementation of SEL opportunities to help kids succeed in school and beyond12/5/2019 2:56:28 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Helping Principals Support Social and Emotional Learning New guide addresses systematic implementation of SEL opportunities 2800https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Now Is the Time to Get to Work on Summer Learning12651GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​All the leaves have fallen from the trees. There’s a chill in the air. ’Tis the season…for planning your district’s summer learning program?</p><p>That’s right, district leaders. Decide in the fall to offer a program and begin the planning process by January and you’ll run into fewer roadblocks when summer rolls around. That’s just one of more than 60 recommendations in the second edition of <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success</em>.</a> This report from the RAND Corporation updates guidance to districts interested in launching a summer learning program or improving an existing one. It’s based on evaluations of five urban school districts participating in the National Summer Learning Project (NSLP), a Wallace-funded effort to understand whether and how voluntary district-run summer learning programs can help promote success in school. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="heather-schwartz.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Now-Is-the-Time-to-Get-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning/heather-schwartz.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;241px;" />The report answers such questions as when districts should begin work on their summer program, how they should hire and train teachers, what they should consider in choosing or developing a curriculum, which actions can help boost attendance and keep students on task, how to create a warm and welcoming environment&#160;and how to provide engaging enrichment experiences. Heather Schwartz, one of the authors of the report, guided us through some of the highlights.*</p><p><strong>How did you arrive at the recommendations in the guide? </strong><br> To develop our recommendations, we drew from over 900 interviews with summer teachers and administrators, 2,000 hours of observations of summer classes and 1,200 summer staff surveys that we collected over four summers. We believe this is the most comprehensive data currently available about voluntary, academic summer programs run by school districts and their community partners.</p><p><strong>What's new in this second edition? How has your thinking evolved since the first edition?</strong><br> Although most of the lessons from the first edition still stand, the second edition provides further and more detailed recommendations. For example, by the second edition we had learned that students who received a minimum of 25 hours of mathematics instruction and those receiving 34 hours of language arts in a summer performed better on the subsequent state math and ELA tests. These findings informed our recommendations in the second edition about the duration of the summer program, the number of hours of academics&#160;and ways for instructors to use intended instructional time more productively. </p><p><strong>You provide a wealth of recommendations in the guide. Could you briefly highlight one or two of the most important?</strong><br> Our most emphatic recommendation is to commit in the fall to a summer program. This means dedicating at least half of the time of a summer program director to actively start planning the summer program no later than January. The early planning should include attention to enrichment as well as to academics.</p><p><strong>What did you learn about the cost of a high-quality summer program? What can districts to do to make their summer programs cost-effective?</strong><br> The cost per student who attended at least one day of a program in summer 2014 ranged from $1,070 to $1,700 with an average of $1,340. Since staff is the largest component of a summer budget, an important way to control costs is to hire staff to achieve desired ratios based on projected daily attendance, not the number of enrollees. Of course, program designers should weigh the savings from cost-cutting measures against potential negative impacts on program quality. Other ways to lower costs include partnering with community organizations for enrichment activities, reducing the number of summer facilities since each carry fixed costs to operate them, centralizing some planning activities to avoid duplicated work, extending school-year curricula for use during the summer and continuing the program over time to capitalize on initial start-up investments. </p><p><strong>Can you give a preview of what's still to come from the National Summer Learning Project?</strong><br> There are four more reports coming out of the NSLP. In the first, we examine how district, city, state and federal policy support and constrain summer programming and we offer recommendations for policymakers and practitioners on navigating this policy landscape. In the second, we examine how student learning unfolds over the course of a calendar year, taking a close look at summer learning, in two urban school districts. In the third, we follow the students in the randomized controlled trial to see if those who went through the NSLP programs have different outcomes in seventh grade than the students in the control group. And, finally in the fourth report, we report on the efforts of NSLP communities to improve access to quality summer learning programming. The case studies in this final report should prove useful to other community leaders across the country.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed. </em></p><p><em>For additional hands-on tools and guidance, including a sample program calendar, see the online </em><a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning Toolkit</a><em>. </em></p><div><div>&#160;</div>&#160;</div> Wallace editorial team792018-12-11T05:00:00ZTalking to RAND’s Heather Schwartz about what makes for a successful summer learning program12/11/2018 3:00:53 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Now Is the Time to Get to Work on Summer Learning Talking to RAND’s Heather Schwartz about what makes for a successful 888https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
The Elements of Social and Emotional Learning10218GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>You might not expect an expert on social and emotional learning to turn to “Supernanny,” a reality television program, for parenting advice, but that’s what Harvard University’s Stephanie Jones, a professor of education, found herself doing late one night.<br><br> A busy working mother, Jones identified with the show’s stressful situations. She happened to catch the Supernanny advising a mom with a similar challenge at the end of each day.<br><br> “She said, ‘When you come home, force yourself to ignore the demands that prevent you from reconnecting with your children. Let them fall all over you and have their moment of crying, needing you, whatever. Then you’ll have the entire evening to get things done,’” Jones said. “I tried it, and it made a big difference.” </p><p>Jones and her team, as you may recall, are the authors of Wallace's runaway hit publication, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx">Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out</a>, a first-of-its kind consumer guide to 25 top SEL programs. Here <a href="http&#58;//my.aasa.org/AASA/Resources/SAMag/2018/Sep18/Browne.aspx" target="_blank">she speaks to the School Administrator</a>&#160;about supernannies, yes, and all things SEL related. </p><p>The&#160;above paragraphs are reprinted with permission from the September 2018 issue of <em> <a href="http&#58;//my.aasa.org/AASA/Resources/SAMag/2018/Sep18/Browne.aspx" target="_blank">School Administrator</a></em> magazine, published by AASA, the School Superintendents Association. </p>Daniel Browne862018-09-25T04:00:00ZHarvard Researcher Stephanie Jones on why educators and others should care about SEL9/25/2018 4:49:53 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / The Elements of Social and Emotional Learning Harvard Researcher Stephanie Jones on why educators and others should care 7179https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals16118GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<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>Wallace editorial team792018-08-07T04:00:00ZNew 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 3643https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Talking to Parents about Social and Emotional Learning16122GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<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>Wallace editorial team792018-07-19T04:00:00ZNew 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 2796https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Helping Out-of-School-Time Providers Get Explicit…About Social and Emotional Learning10293GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Talk to out-of-school-time (OST) providers about the growing interest in social and emotional learning (SEL) across the country, and they’re liable to say, “Finally!” Afterschool and summer programs have&#160;often set out to be&#160;places where children build healthy relationships, learn to navigate social situations and discover what they’re good at and passionate about.&#160; </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="jones_183_janetsterns.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/helping-out-of-school-time-providers-get-explicit-about-social-and-emotional-learning/jones_183_janetsterns.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;241px;height&#58;327px;" />Now, OST providers, along with scholars, schools, and foundations, are thinking more deeply than ever about what exactly SEL is and what it takes to promote it. </p><p>As part of that effort, Wallace commissioned Harvard Professor of Education Stephanie Jones to analyze 25 widely used SEL programs. Jones and her team recently published a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/social-and-emotional-learning-in-out-of-school-time-settings.aspx">research brief</a>, one in a series, that looks specifically at how those programs can be applied in OST settings (only three of the programs were designed primarily for OST). We asked Jones to walk us through the implications of her research for OST organizations.*</p><p><strong>What unique contributions can OST providers make to children’s social and emotional learning?</strong></p><p>Unlike the majority of schools, OST programs tend to have fewer curricular demands, giving them greater flexibility and more opportunity for SEL programming. OST settings also typically provide greater opportunity for students to engage in informal conversations with peers and adults and build positive relationships, which we know is critical to SEL. </p><p><strong>Many OST providers would say that SEL is inherent to what they do. You note, however, that few have “a primary or explicit focus on developing and fostering specific SEL skills.” What are the advantages of adopting a curriculum with a specific focus on SEL?</strong></p><p>It's true that many OST programs address SEL skills in their mission, support a climate that fosters SEL skills, or use general SEL practices and behavior management approaches—and those things are important. But research shows that only programs that follow the elements of SAFE (Sequenced set of activities, Active forms of learning, Focus on building SEL skills, and Explicit SEL learning objectives) improved children's skills and behavior. Adopting an evidence-based curriculum with a specific focus on SEL is one way to make sure those SAFE elements are present. Moreover, evidence-based curricula have usually been tested and refined to ensure the best possible results, and typically come with a variety of supports such as lessons or activities, staff training, and resources like coaching or assessment tools for monitoring progress and improvement.</p><p><strong>How can OST providers interested in adopting an SEL program get started? What are the first steps?</strong></p><p>We recommend OST programs begin by collecting data that will help them make informed decisions. This might include collecting school climate and disciplinary data from a partner school, or talking to families, OST staff, schools, community leaders and other stakeholders about their vision for SEL and the needs they hope the program will address. Drawing from that information, organizations can then identify and prioritize specific needs and goals. Finally, they can use our <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx">Navigating SEL report</a> to identify evidence-based programs and strategies that best meet those needs. There’s a worksheet at the back of the report designed to help them through the process.</p><p><strong>You emphasize the importance of adapting pre-packaged SEL programs so they fit an OST provider’s individual context. Can you give an example of what this looks like in practice?</strong></p><p>An OST program that focuses on building literacy might choose SEL strategies that use books, stories, or poems, whereas an OST program with a focus on sports or health might choose to rely more heavily on strategies that feature games or kinesthetic activities. Similar adaptations can be made to help programs better fit specific behavioral needs, cultural perspectives, student interests and more. It might also make sense to adapt a program to better fit the timing of an afterschool program—perhaps a single lesson is delivered in short periods over the course of multiple days.</p><p><strong>Another brief in this series introduces the concept of “kernels” as a cost-effective and flexible way to build social and emotional skills. Can you give us an overview of your </strong><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/kernels-of-practice-for-sel-low-cost-low-burden-strategies.aspx"><strong>work on kernels</strong></a><strong>? What are they? How can they help OST providers?</strong></p><p>Kernels of SEL practice are short, targeted strategies used by effective programs to build specific skills and effect specific behavioral changes in children. In contrast to more comprehensive SEL programs, a toolkit of SEL kernels is low-cost; requires little time, training, or instruction for staff; and can be customized to individual, classroom, cultural, and site needs. They may be particularly helpful to OST providers in three ways&#58; 1) They’re easy to integrate with the existing structure and mission of an OST program in a variety of ways, either as behavior management tools, short transition activities, or more structured lessons; 2) they enable staff to choose strategies that best suit the needs and interests of the children in their program, keeping the OST space fun and engaging; and 3) they provide opportunities for OST providers to align their SEL work with in-school efforts in a way that is additive rather than repetitive.<br></p><p><img src="/knowledge-center/PublishingImages/stephanie-jones-QA-lg-feature.jpg" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>&#160;</p><p><em>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792018-03-27T04:00:00ZHarvard’s Stephanie Jones on Adapting SEL Programs for OST Settings5/23/2018 5:08:36 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Helping Out-of-School-Time Providers Get Explicit…About Social and Emotional Learning As part of that effort, Wallace 751https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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