The vision of the national Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety is that when all children are educated in places of equity, safety, and learning, and when they receive the integrated academic, social, and emotional supports that meet their individual needs, then they can achieve their greatest potential in K-12 education, as well as in college, career, and life.
Research and experience have shown that a safe, healthy, and equitable school climate that integrates the cultivation of students’ social and emotional development with academic teaching and learning correlates with higher student attendance and engagement, improved student connectedness, and better social and emotional health. These conditions also correlate with greater job satisfaction and higher retention for school staff.
Given the critical role of SEL and school safety in children’s overall well-being and education experiences, increasing numbers of policymakers, educators, and other practitioners are recognizing them as important pathways for school improvement.
The center’s ongoing conversations with state and local education agencies and other stakeholders reveal, for example, that educators need more supports to integrate SEL and school safety with academic teaching and learning. The conversations also reveal that SEL and school safety can too easily be siloed from other important whole-person initiatives, such as the use of trauma-informed practices.
To help education agencies address such challenges, the SEL Center offers three tiers of capacity-building support:
- General support — curated evidence-based tools, resources, and professional learning intended to address the field’s most urgent and important needs and are available on the center website
- Tailored support — facilitated networks of practice for state and local education agencies, offered with consultation from center staff and nationally-renowned subject-matter experts
- Intensive support — extended partnerships with one to two SEAs and LEAs, in order to create proof points of systems change
Lessons from tailored and intensive support, along with tools and approaches developed for that work, will be made broadly available as general support.