Educating the Whole Child and the Whole School:Guidelines for Social and Emotional Development and Learning NYS Council of Education Associations February 6, 2009 Mark Barth firstname.lastname@example.org
What and Why Combining “high behavioral and academic expectations with high levels of student and adult support.” 1999 Annenberg Research Project “The biggest achievement gap is between what kids can and will do, between actual achievement and their potential.” Eric Cooper, National Urban Alliance
Amended Education Law and Regents P-16 Plan -- Action 11.3 “The Commissioner [of Education] shall, in cooperation with the Commissioner of Mental Health, develop guidelines for voluntary implementation by school districts that incorporate social and emotional development into elementary and secondary school education programs prescribed in paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section three of the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2006.” The Children’s Plan, October 1, 2008
If it’s voluntary what’s the point? • Offer school districts compelling information, example and evidence. • Provide a rationale for schools to attend more holistically to child growth and maturation. • Attract interest and persuade school communities that social and emotional development and learning is within their reach.
Defining Social Emotional Competence The ability to • understand, manage, and express the social and emotional aspects of one’s life • in ways that enable successful management of life tasks • such as learning, • forming relationships, • solving everyday problems, and • adapting to the complex demands of growth and development (Elias et al, 1997)
SEDL begins at home and is facilitated through six approaches • Attention to school and classroom environment • Outreach to / engagement of families & community • Instruction / mentoring in “head, heart, and hand” skills • After school, extra curricular & service learning programs • Coordinated district and community services, and • Staff development for administrative, instructional, and student support staff.
Promotion and Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment • Promote healthy development, prevent problems • Address problems as soon after onset as feasible • Have a system for assisting those with chronic and severe problems.
Universal Promotion of SEDL for All Students Foundational social-emotional skills enable children to calm themselves when angry, initiate friendships and resolve conflicts respectfully, make ethical and safe choices, and contribute constructively to their community. CASEL (2005)
School Environment a.k.a. “Climate” “Culture” “Well-being” School culture orients the behavior of members of the school community and helps them make sense of new information and demands (Deal & Peterson, 1990). “We believe that the framework that improves the school culture must be in place first.”James Comer (2005)
Measurable Indicators • Schools are safe - rates of suspension, disciplinary referrals, faculty and student perceptions • Schools are engaging - attendance rates, participation in extra-curricular activity, student surveys • Students demonstrate age appropriate behavior - YRBS data, measures related to civic and character development, e.g., student volunteerism • Schools welcome families - parent surveys, participation in school activities. • Students receive personalized support from adults at school - available staffing to intervene early. • County and state agencies collaborations to meet children’s needs.
Secondary Prevention for Students Failing to Succeed America’s Promise Alliance represents a national and state effort to improve the academic, social and civic outcomesof at-risk young people by delivering on Five Promises • Caring Adults • Safe Places • A Healthy Start • An Effective Education • Opportunities to Help Others
Tertiary Prevention and Intervention for High Risk Students or Unsafe Schools • Developing and supporting leadership and teams • Increasing instructional efficacy • Building links to mental health providers and training school staff • Embedding social and emotional competencies in the classroom • Supporting family partnerships Turnaround for Children
Guidelines to Community Adults • Community Members, Groups and Agencies Most schools and communities have multiple interventions and services. When they are fragmented by funding streams, turf, etc., it wastes money and undercuts the ability of different initiatives to support each other • Families* An SEDL plan must reflect the knowledge and cultural perspectives of parents and caregivers. * biological, adoptive and foster parents; siblings, grandparents, relatives and adults who are committed to the child.
Guidelines to Educators • School Leaders - promoting public understanding ofSEDL and create opportunities to develop a school plan • Student Support Service Professionals - identifying school-wide programming needs and gaps in services. • Teachers - providing instruction, creating & reinforcing a respectful classroom environment
Assessing and Measuring Progress The Chicago School Connection Surveyhttp://www.casel.org/downloads/SampleConnectionReport.pdf measures safe, respectful climate; high expectations; student support; social-emotional learning. New York City began to survey parents, students and teachers on aspects of school environment like safety, communication, engagement, and expectations. Ohio is developing school climate assessment as an additional and complementary form of accountability.
What SEDL Programming Looks Like • “Second Step” Grade 3 Bilingual Lesson • “Resolving Conflict Creatively” video in a NYC elementary school • Bullying Reduction/Anti-Violence Education suburban Middle School • A upstate high school Service Learning project • Video of a Full-Service School in NYC
Costs of SEDL Programming The current fiscal crisis dictates significant budget reductions The 2009-2010 budget strategy is to: contract not expand
Lessons Learned in Illinois 1) Even if it is good for kids, if it costs additional money, it is unlikely to pass. 2) If it is good for kids and saves money it stands a much better chance. 3) Good science is essential, perhaps catalytic.
Two Essential Questions School Boards and Superintendents ask “What is the next highest-valued alternative use of that resource?” A second question to be asked: “Is there a cost to the school’s success in neglecting all students’ social and emotional development?”
With these guidelines New York State wishes to • Highlight the learning standards and key ideas that promote children’s social and emotional development. - Help schools and districts plan and act efficiently in their investment choices.
Immediate Next Steps • Sign-off by NYSED senior leadership • Meet with state agency partners—see letter accompanying The Children's Plan • Gain sign off from Commissioner of Mental Health • Jointly release the Guidelines
The Next Stage The State Education Department will establish an “evergreen” webpage to display and update tools, continue to document best practices, identify resources and supportive research.