K-12 Education

National Commission January Newsletter

January 25, 2017  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Meet the Parents

We are pleased to introduce the National Commission’s newly formed Parent Advisory Panel, which will provide an invaluable perspective on how schools can complement families’ and communities’ efforts to support the whole student. The panel members represent diverse geographic regions, backgrounds, professions, and political viewpoints. They will meet on a monthly basis to help shape the Commission’s exploration of social, emotional, and academic development (SEAD), provide parent input; and communicate about the importance of SEAD with their own networks. We believe parents play a crucial role in engaging and energizing community efforts related to SEAD, and we thank our panel members for lending their voices and expertise to the Commission’s work. Please visit our website to meet the parents.

Youth Commissioners Speak
On February 2 at 1:00 p.m. ET, four of our Youth Commissioners will engage in conversation with Commissioner Karen Pittman, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of The Forum for Youth Investment, about the importance of social, emotional, and academic growth for youth success. The discussion, part of the Forum’s Thought Leader Roundtable Conversation Series, will provide the Youth Commissioners the opportunity to share their vision of SEAD, speak about their roles as youth advisors to the Commission, and discuss what K-12 schools can do to support the comprehensive development of students. Register for the audio conference here.

Leading for Equity
Also on February 2, the Aspen Institute’s Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers will jointly release Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs. The report outlines 10 commitments State Chiefs and their education agencies can consider to advance educational equity for all students and includes social and emotional development as one of the recommended commitments.

Join us from 10:00 to 11:30 am ET on Thursday, February 2, 2017 for a conversation about specific actions State Chiefs are taking to advance equity in education and how stakeholders can engage with states in these efforts.

We invite you to attend the event in Washington, DC, or view the livestream online.
National Commission Spotlight: Commissioner Chris Harried
Each month, we’ll introduce you to a new member of the National Commission team who will share their personal reflections on social, emotional, and academic development and comment on their efforts with the Commission. First up: recent college graduate Chris Harried, who plays a dual role by sitting on both the National Commission and the Aspen Institute Youth Commission.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Youth Commission and what you hope it accomplishes in the next two years?

The Youth Commission serves as an advisory group to the National Commission, helping to provide a contemporary and relevant perspective on the current state of education. We’re fortunate to have Youth Commissioners from a vast array of backgrounds who lend their varied knowledge to our joint mission. During our time together, the Youth Commission aims to supplement the work of the National Commission by providing lived experiences and advice to strengthen the forthcoming recommendations. Members of the Youth Commission are excited about serving as ambassadors to their communities and promoting SEAD.

Twitter-bio: Who is the real Chris Harried? Tell us in 140 characters or less.
Faith. Family. Fulfillment. One day at a time.

Visit our website to read more of our Q&A with Chris.

Voices of SEAD: News From Partners and Friends

  • Effective SEL programs are comprehensive and systemic, developmentally and culturally appropriate, evidence-based, and forward thinking. That’s one of the conclusions of a new paper, Advancing the Science and Practice of Social and Emotional Learning: Looking Back and Moving Forward, which summarizes the results of nearly 100 years of research on school-based social and emotional learning. The journal article also addresses the importance of implementation quality and identifies gaps in SEL research.
  • A vast array of terms are used to describe the collection of skills and competencies focused on helping students manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and navigate social situations. To make sense of this linguistic landscape, the Wallace Foundation commissioned market research to determine which terms resonate the most with different audiences.
  • TransformEd recently hosted a webinar that featured a discussion on SEAD measurement and policy as well as insights from district leaders in Los Angeles and San Francisco about how they are supporting SEAD practices at the school and classroom levels. The webinar also included an update on the National Commission.
  • Registration is now open for the Center for Schools and Communities’ 2017 Social and Emotional Learning Conference: Building Skills for Lifelong Success, to be held March 13, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The keynote speaker will be Dave Levin, Co-Founder of KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program. A variety of SEAD-related workshops will be offered, including sessions from the National Commission’s Council of Distinguished Scientist members Jonathan Cohen and Maurice Elias.

Please email us if you have SEAD-related resources, initiatives, or events you would like us to share.

SEAD In the News

  • When teachers are less stressed, their students are less stressed, too. Listen to this National Public Radio report on research by one of the Commission’s Distinguished Scientists, Mark Greenberg, who finds that teacher stress is a major roadblock to SEAD and that practicing mindfulness can be an effective solution.
  • One of the Commission’s parent panelists, Scarlett Lewis, was recently profiled in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. She discusses how losing her son in the Sandy Hook shooting inspired her to found the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, which aims to teach people to be more compassionate and provides schools with a free social and emotional learning curriculum.
  • In 2017, more schools will promote students’ social and emotional growth. That’s according to a prediction by one of the Commission’s Distinguished Educators, David Adams. Click here to read more about the ways in which the Urban Assembly network of schools, where Adams works, is already promoting SEAD for all of its students.