K-12 Education

National Commission March Newsletter

March 1, 2018  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Please Join Us: The Practice Base for How We Learn

A diverse group of educators from across the country has reached consensus on what it takes to effectively integrate social, emotional, and academic development in our schools. The report from the Commission’s Council of Distinguished Educators, “The Practice Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development,” will be released on March 12. Complementing the Council of Distinguished Scientists’ “The Evidence Base for How We Learn,” this new report examines the roles that the teacher, classroom, and school environment play in supporting the social, emotional, and academic domains that are essential to each student’s learning. Join us on March 12 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST at the Aspen Institute’s offices in Washington D.C. to hear from leading educators on the importance of this report and the promising practices that educators and schools are using to support students’ comprehensive development. RSVP here

New Video Series Shows Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning in Practice

The National Commission has partnered with Edutopia to produce virtual visits of three Nashville schools as well as shorter videos illustrating examples of specific social-emotional strategies practiced at each of these schools. The videos feature Fall-Hamilton Elementary School, a public school located just outside of downtown Nashville that serves students in grades Pre-K-4; Valor Collegiate Academies, a public charter network of middle schools originating in Nashville; and Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School which serves students in grades 9-12 in North Nashville.

The videos highlight an array of strategies, including Pearl-Cohn’s use of daily advisory, which builds social and emotional learning into daily literacy lessons; Fall-Hamilton’s “tap-in/tap-out” system, which allows teachers to request the support of a peer when they need to step away from the classroom for a minute or two; and Valor’s use of structured, weekly circle meetings for students and teachers to spend time mediating conflict and strengthening relationships with one another as well as sharing academic work.

We hope the videos provide teachers and school leaders with actionable ideas for supporting their own students’ social, emotional, and academic development.  View the videos here.

National Commission Webinar: Lessons Learned and Questions Moving Forward

The National Commission recently hosted a webinar highlighting six lessons learned from the past year. The webinar featured a conversation with practitioners who reflected on these lessons and provided examples from their daily work with students. Speakers included Pamela Moran, Ed.D., superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, Va.; Christopher Poulos, Spanish teacher & instructional leader at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Conn., and Connecticut’s 2007 Teacher of the Year; as well as Jonathan Raymond, president of the Stuart Foundation and former superintendent who provided insights from the community perspective. Panelists also addressed the questions and challenges the Commission will consider throughout 2018 as it works to better understand how to support students’ comprehensive learning and development.

The Commission wants to hear from you! You can help inform the Commission’s work in 2018 by responding to these three key questions: as.pn/commissionsurvey

Watch the archived webinar here: as.pn/ncwebinar

Coming Up Next …

  • How can schools best work with community partners to support students’ comprehensive development? A forthcoming case study from the National Commission begins to answer this question by profiling the network of partnerships Tacoma (Wash.) Public Schools has created to support students’ social, emotional, and academic development both in and out of school. The case study also features advice from an array of community-serving organizations about the characteristics needed for strong school-community partnerships that support students’ learning and development.
  • The Youth Commission and Parent Advisory Panel are coalescing their learnings from the past year into Youth and Family Calls to Action that will articulate the urgent need for schools and communities to support students’ comprehensive development and will identify what youth, parents, and families need from their schools and communities to make this happen. Stay tuned for more information about these documents, which will be released on April 6.
  • To ensure the research field is also supporting the needs of educators, the Council of Distinguished Scientists is drafting a Research Agenda for the Next Generation, which seeks 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

  • Jonathan P. Raymond, president of the Stuart Foundation and a member of the Commission’s Council of Distinguished Educators, offers a point-by-point response to Rick Hess’ advice for social and emotional learning champions.
  • Council of Distinguished Educators member Kris Hinrichsen was recently named Teacher of the Week in the Anchorage (Alaska) School District for his superb teaching and his work incorporating social and emotional learning in the classroom and leading its implementation throughout the district.
  • In a Washington Post article, Pam Moore (a freelance writer and mom based in Boulder, Colo.), shares the positive impact her school’s social and emotional learning focus has on her daughter and provides tips for parents to help their kids build these skills at home.
  • research brief from Pennsylvania State University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation discusses the ways in which positive school climate and social and emotional learning work hand-in-hand to create safer, more supportive school communities.

Partner Updates and Conferences

  • ASCD Empower 2018: The Conference for Every Educator will take place March 24-26 in Boston. The conference will feature a variety of Commission representatives, including Parent Advisory Panel member Scarlett Lewis; Council of Distinguished Educators member Joshua Garcia; Council of Distinguished Scientists members Stephanie Jones and Maurice J. Elias; and Commission staff members Jacqueline Jodl and Melissa Mellor.
  • Digital Promise is hosting a webinar on March 28 at 5 pm EST on addressing the strengths and needs of learners living with trauma. The featured speaker is Council of Distinguished Scientists member Pamela Cantor, MD, president and CEO of Turnaround for Children, a nonprofit organization that connects the dots between science, adversity, and school performance to catalyze healthy student development and academic achievement.
  • The 2018 Center for Schools and Communities’ Social and Emotional Learning conference, “Building Skills for Lifelong Success,” will occur 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.