K-12 Education

National Commission May Newsletter

May 11, 2018  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Introducing Our New Education Week Blog: Learning is Social and Emotional 

Last week, we launched a blog with Education Week called “Learning is Social and Emotional” with the goal of lifting up voices from across the nation to discuss the successes and challenges of ensuring schools and communities support the social, emotional, and academic development of all students. Commission Co-Chairs Linda Darling-Hammond and Tim Shriver opened the blog with a post describing how learning is, by its very nature, social, emotional, and academic.

We hope you become a regular reader of the blog. 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. Each post has a 600-word limit.

Case Study Highlights School-Community Partnerships Across the Country

School-Community Partnerships: Joining Forces to Support the Learning and Development of All Students,” the third in a series of case studies from the Commission, illustrates examples of school-community partnerships, highlighting the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative in particular. The Tacoma approach brings together the community from the mayor’s office to the local Boys & Girls Club in support of children’s learning.

The case study features several great examples of communities joining with schools. The AfterZone program in Providence, R.I., for example, coordinates between 50 and 70 community-based organizations to provide after-school programming for middle school students. The Student Success Network in New York City connects organizations to collect data and identify and share best practices to ensure students have the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in life. Communities in Schools of Central Texas provides resources and builds relationships to create a community of support for students in the metro-Austin area.

Sign on to the Youth and Family Calls to Action

The National Commission Youth Commission and Parent Advisory Panel are calling for learning environments that foster students’ social and emotional growth along with their academic learning. Read the Youth and Family Calls to Action and show your support by signing on here!


Awards & Recognition

  • As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, we would like to thank all the teachers in our networks for the work that you do to help young people thrive in school, work, and life.
  • Congratulations to Commissioner and Council of Distinguished Scientists member Roger Weissberg, who has been selected as one of the National Afterschool Association’s Most Influential in Research & Evaluation honorees.
  • We would also like to congratulate Council of Distinguished Educators member Daren Dickson and Funders Collaborative member Chi Kim for being selected as part of the latest class of Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows.

Coming Up Next …

  • 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 students’ social, emotional, and academic skills.
  • The Commission has been working on its draft recommendations in research, policy, and practice and over the next few months will be refining these recommendations with feedback from a variety of voices.

Staying in the Know

Partner Updates and Conferences

  • Commissioner Karen Pittman will open the ACT Center for Equity in Learning’s Equity Through SEL Summit in Austin, Texas this June 4-5. The summit will also feature a session led by Commission Partners focused on supporting students through community partnerships.
  • The Commission will lead a session focused on policy and practice recommendations to support students’ social, emotional, and academic development at the 2018 National Charter Schools Conference which will take place in Austin, Texas June 17-20, 2018.
  • Council of Distinguished Educators members, Lyon Terry, Chris Poulos, and Leticia Guzman Ingram will present at the 2018 National Teacher Leadership Conference which will take place in Las Vegas July 8-11, 2018.