Students Help Design Measures of Social-Emotional Skills

This article explores how Washoe County District, a district in Reno, Nevada, put social-emotional learning in the forefront of their education system. A growing body of research connects skills like responsible decision making, empathy, and responding to emotions with both greater engagement in the classroom and improved academic outcomes. Washoe County District, launched a social-emotional learning effort as a result of a 2010 strategic plan, but, until recently, had very few ways of measuring the effectiveness of those efforts. With the help of a federal grant and assistance from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, Washoe County administrators developed new survey measures, working with students to understand how they respond to questions about social-emotional skills and with teachers to develop data that could actually be used to change what happens in the classroom.

This article may be useful for school leaders and educators in giving an example of how to effectively implement and track school improvement efforts, especially those connected to implementing comprehensive social-emotional learning practices.

Source Organization: Education Week

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