K-12 Education

National Commission April Newsletter

April 13, 2018  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Parent Advisory Panel and Youth Commission Launch Calls to Action

The National Commission’s Parent Advisory Panel and Youth Commission launched their calls to action on Fri., April 6, emphasizing the urgent need for schools and communities to support students’ comprehensive development and articulate what families and youth need from their schools and communities to make this happen. The launch event included the opportunity to hear directly from youth and parents as well as from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Commissioner and 72nd governor of Virginia; Karen Pittman, a Commissioner and co-founder of The Forum for Youth Investment; and Tim Shriver, a co-chair of the Commission, chairman of the Special Olympics, and co-founder and chair of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Read the Youth and Family Calls to Action and view coverage of the reports in Education Dive and Youth Today.

Show your support by signing on here!

Educators Reach Consensus on What it Takes to Support How Learning Happens

The National Commission’s 34-member Council of Distinguished Educators released its consensus statements, “The Practice Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.” The report outlines promising practices that show how students, teachers, parents, and administrators can integrate social, emotional, and academic learning in preK-12 education and calls for widespread implementation of these strategies as essential to students’ success in their schools, homes, workplaces, and communities.

Read the full report, view a recording of the release event, and view coverage of the report from Education Week and Education Dive.

Coming Up Next …

  • Stay tuned for the National Commission’s blog on the Education Week It will feature voices from across the country discussing how social and emotional learning happens, what it looks like in schools and communities, and the challenges all of us face to doing this right.
  • The Commission’s third case study, School-Community Partnerships, will be released April 17. It shows how vital school-community partnerships are to creating a supportive learning environment for students and cites examples of where these partnerships have generated significant benefits.
  • To ensure the research field is also supporting the needs of educators, a steering group of the Council of Distinguished Scientists is drafting a Research Agenda for the Next Generation, which will address critical questions of practice and seek to bridge the gap between research and practice to achieve equitable outcomes for all students. The agenda will be released late this spring.

Staying in the Know

  • Parent Advisory Panel member Scarlett Lewis describes her decision to dedicate her life to social and emotional learning in this article in the Atlantic.
  • Council of Distinguished Scientists member Stephanie Jones calls for moving beyond the false dichotomy between rigorous academic instruction and fostering social-emotional skills in early learning environments in a guest commentary for WBUR (Boston’s NPR news station).
  • Another Council of Distinguished Scientists member, David Osher, explains how incorporating technology can help teach social and emotional skills in a piece for the Hechinger Report.
  • Evie Blad shares her takeaways from the social-emotional learning strategies used in Tacoma Public Schools in an Education Week article.
  • In an article for Edutopia, Rebecca Alber makes four suggestions for embracing the whole child.
  • Aaliyah Samuel, the education division director for the National Governors Association, a Commission partner, writes about the importance of social and emotional supports in securing school safety in a Medium article.
  • The Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University recently published a research brief that establishes the foundations of social-emotional development in the first three years. This brief is the eighth in a series of briefs published by Penn State University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read more here.
  • Commission partner CASEL recently released its 2018 State Social Emotional Learning Scorecard Scan, which identifies state policies and guidance that supports students’ social and emotional development across the country. A new series on Social Emotional Learning Trends spotlights trends in school districts implementing social and emotional learning systemically and districtwide. CASEL’s Assessment Work Group launched a competition for direct assessments of student social and emotional learning. The 2nd Annual Design Challenge will use lessons learned from the first Design Challenge and will focus on addressing practitioners’ assessment needs. Assessment developers are encouraged to create well-designed direct assessments, and winners will receive up to $5,000. The deadline is May 4. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Education First is seeking applications for teacher-led projects that foster social and emotional learning skills in students in grades PK-12 through the NoVo Foundation Social Emotional Learning Innovation Fund. They will offer up to $5,000 for teachers and $25,000 for districts and charters to implement an innovative project in their classrooms and schools in the 2018-19 school year. The deadline is Friday, April 20 at 5:00pm PT. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Members of the Ideal Learning Roundtable share The Principles of Ideal Learning Programs, which outlines the core concepts that form the foundation of high-quality early childhood education or “ideal learning,” which include a commitment to play, relationship-based interactions, equity, and an inquiry-based approach with children, adults and teachers.

Partner Updates and Conferences

  • Commissioner Karen Pittman, Council of Distinguished Scientists member Stephanie Jones, and numerous Commission partners will be presenting at the Ready by 21 National Meeting on April 18-20 in Palm Beach County, Fla.
  • The 2018 Center for Schools and Communities Social and Emotional Learning conference, “Building Skills for Lifelong Success,” will take place May 9-10, in Harrisburg, Pa. The conference provides professional development opportunities for school administrators, teachers, school psychologists, school counselors, and other professionals who work on behalf of children and youth. Learn more and register.