K-12 Education

National Commission June Newsletter

June 21, 2018  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Commission Prioritizes Equity and Student and Teacher Voice in Draft Recommendations

As the Commission develops its draft recommendations, which will be released as part of our final report at the end of the year, Commissioners have identified keeping student and educator voices at the center, creating equitable outcomes for all students, and elevating the role of families and communities in this work as key priorities the recommendations will address.

The recommendations, focused on research, practice, and policy have been informed by Commission conversations with communities that are deeply engaged in this work including Cleveland, Nashville, and Tacoma as well as other leaders and educators that are prioritizing this approach.

The Commission continues to seek feedback on the initial draft recommendations from across our coalition of leaders, including partner organizations from the Commission’s Partners Collaborative. As we refine the recommendations, we will continue to reach out to a variety of groups and voices to ensure they reflect the best thinking from all sectors.

Commissioners have identified themes across the draft recommendations that will be reflected in its final report, including the importance of:

  • having a clear and shared vision of students’ comprehensive development that aligns key stakeholders and reflects the interconnection of the social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions of learning 
  • creating learning environments in and out of school that foster the comprehensive development of all young people
  • building the capacity of adults both to understand and model these competencies themselves

Sign on to the Youth and Family Calls to Action to Support Students as Whole Learners

Our Youth Commission and Parent Advisory Panel are calling for learning environments that give all students the tools they need to navigate college, career, and life. Read the Youth and Family Calls to Action and share with your networks!

Show your support by signing on!

And please consider sharing these tweets and graphics with your followers:

With the school year winding down, let’s make sure young people have the tools they need to thrive next school year and beyond. Sign the Youth and Family Calls to Action in support of how children learn: as.pn/calltoaction @AspenSEAD #HowLearningHappens #WholeChild

Learning happens when students’ social, emotional, and academic needs are met. Sign on and share if you agree. as.pn/CalltoAction #HowLearningHappens

Highlights from Our “Learning is Social and Emotional” Blog

The Commission is hosting the blog “Learning is Social and Emotional” with Education Week, featuring voices from across the nation discussing the successes and challenges of ensuring that schools and communities support the social, emotional, and academic development of all students.

We welcome new authors! If you would like to contribute a post, please review the guidelines and style notes for the blog and contact us at learningissocialandemotional@gmail.com

The blog has received considerable attention from teachers, principals, and partners. Here are some highlights from the blog over the past month:

Awards & Recognition

Congratulations to the following members of the Commission team:

  • Council of Distinguished Educators member Kris Hinrichsen on being named Anchorage School District 2018 BP Teacher of the Year
  • Council of Distinguished Educators member Joan Dufell on being awarded the 2018 Mary Utne O’Brien Award for Excellence in Advancing the Evidence-Based Practice of Social and Emotional Learning
  • Council of Distinguished Educators member Jonathan P. Raymond who published a book, Wildflowers: A School Superintendent’s Challenge to America, which discusses his tumultuous tenure as school superintendent in Sacramento, Calif., and makes a powerful case for applying a whole child framework to K-12 education

Coming Soon …

  • Positive school climate and culture will be the focus of our next case study, which will explore how efforts to improve school climate can support and are reinforced by students’ social, emotional, and academic development.
  • In collaboration with the Aspen Institute Sports and Society program, the Commission will be releasing a brief highlighting the role of youth sports coaches in promoting social, emotional, and academic development.

Partner Updates & Conferences

Staying in the Know

  • High school English teacher Sean Cassel recently wrote a blog for Edutopia on strategies for building stronger teacher-student relationships. Another Edutopia post discusses an approach to formative assessment that includes a focus on social and emotional learning competencies.
  • A research brief from Pennsylvania State University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation discusses barriers to equitable access to high-quality social, emotional, and academic education and identifies opportunities for overcoming those barriers.
  • Commission Co-Chair Tim Shriver calls for us to listen to First Lady Melania Trump’s “Be Best” campaign in an opinion piece in The Washington Post, saying the work of supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic development is bigger than any single administration or nation.
  • Commission member John Bridgeland and American Progress senior fellow Carmel Martin co-authored an opinion piece in The Hill outlining the ways social, emotional, and academic development create more equitable learning environments for all students.
  • TransformEd released its latest policy brief, A Data-Informed Approach to Social-Emotional Learning, which provides recommendations for state and local leaders interested in using data to help integrate social and emotional learning into their schools.
  • Evie Blad explains social emotional learning strategies in three minutes in a video for Education Week. Another video from Education Week shows how the Washoe County (Nev.) School District is approaching social and emotional learning, focusing on its approach to measuring this work. An article for EdSurge discusses strategies used by Council of Distinguished Educators member Roberta Duvall, a principal in the same district.