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Getting the Right Fit: Choosing and Adapting the Right SEL Program for Your School Linda Toms Barker, MA Principal Research Associate IMPAQ International Jacqueline Ng-Osorio, MPH, DrPH

Assessment Coordinator, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa


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TODAY WE WILL… ▸ Review what the literature tells us about selecting Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programming ▸ Tell you about the evaluation of 11 schools implementing SEL programs across the State of Hawai‘i ▸ Summarize some of the key considerations these 11 schools used in selecting an SEL program ▸ Share some of the lessons learned through the evaluation ▸ Hear from you about your experiences and questions about getting the right fit. ▸ Provide some recommendations about how to select the right program for your school


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OVERVIEW

What is Social and Emotional Learning? SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to:

• understand and manage emotions • set and achieve positive goals • feel and show empathy for others • establish and maintain positive relationships • make responsible decisions The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning www.casel.org


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OBSERVATIONS FROM THE LITERATURE


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Resources For Finding The Right Program ▸ Harvard – Selecting the Right SEL Program, June 2017 https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/17/06/selecting-right-sel-program ▸ Wallace Foundation – Navigating SEL from the Inside Out https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/NavigatingSocial-and-Emotional-Learning-from-the-Inside-Out.pdf ▸ CASEL https://casel.org/guidelines/


Key features of effective SEL programs Incorporate SAFE elements Occur within supportive contexts

Set reasonable goals

Effective SEL Programs Target key behaviors & skills

Build adult competencies

Partner with family & community

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Common Program Components ▸ Classroom Activities beyond core lessons ▸ Climate and culture supports ▸ Applications to out-of-school time ▸ Adaptability to local context ▸ Professional development and training ▸ Support for implementation ▸ Family engagement ▸

Community engagement


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Some SEL Programs may: ▸

Connect skills to academic content and related reading materials and projects

Support community-building initiatives, and adult practices that foster a positive learning environment

Include lessons that can be used in afterschool settings

Adapt to local contexts and specialized student populations

Offer professional development, and ongoing opportunities for building SEL skills.

Provide implementation support and tools

Provide assessment tools to evaluate student progress, strength of implementation and staff buy-in.

Describe activities and events that incorporate families into students’ social-emotional learning.

Explain initiatives that build connections between students and their community.


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Developmental Considerations â–¸ Some skills serve as a foundation for more complex skills that emerge later in life, suggesting that children must develop certain basic SEL competencies before they can master others.

Example - Executive function skills lay a foundation for skills needed later in life such as long-term planning, decision-making, coping skills

â–¸ Some skills are stage-salient: they enable children and youth to meet the demands of a particular developmental stage and/or setting.


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CULTURAL/LINGUISTIC CONSIDERATIONS ▸ How well does content of SEL program fit the cultural backgrounds of the students? ▸ How can SEL program and school climate/infrastructure be adapted to accommodate very diverse populations within schools? ▸ Is program well-suited for translation into the languages of immigrant students? ▸ How can materials be translated or re-interpreted into the Hawaiian language? ▸ How can SEL best be integrated with Hawaiian culture and values? ▸ How does SEL fit within the HĀ framework?


HAWAI‘I DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

NĀ HOPENA A‘O (HĀ: BREATH)


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LESSONS FROM AN EVALUATION OF SEL IMPLEMENTATION IN HAWAI‘I


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HCF SEL EVALUATION

Catalyst for understanding more about the roles of compassion, diversity, and culture in the practice of peace

Encourage our community to engage in acts of peace and aloha in our daily lives

Grow ethical and compassionate leaders for Hawai‘i’s future

Social and emotional learning initiative – grants to 11 schools


HCF SEL EVALUATION

Five Areas of Measurement 1. Program implementation 2. School climate 3. Student behavior 4. SEL skills/competencies 5. Academic success

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GRANTEES’ OBSERVATIONS ABOUT SEL PROGRAM FIT


HCF SEL EVALUATION

What does the evaluation tell us about fit? ▸ Considerations when selecting SEL programs ▸ Key factors affecting implementation ▸ Challenges and solutions ▸ Grantee perceptions about fit with:  Students’ SEL needs  Cultural diversity of students  School culture  Hawaiian school context

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HCF SEL EVALUATION

Grantees Have Different Starting Places ▸ Current school climate ▸ Previous SEL activities ▸ Relationship with the community ▸ Faculty and staff attitudes ▸ Needs to be addressed ▸ Unique goals


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HCF SEL EVALUATION

Grantees Have Different SEL Goals ▸ Building empathy in students

WHY SEL?

▸ Reducing aggressive behaviors (including bullying)

For one school, the goal is to change students’ worldview from “I don’t know when I’m going to get a hug/be noticed/eat food,” to “I am held, supported, nourished.”

▸ Teaching conflict resolution and anger control ▸ Developing compassion ▸ Developing mindfulness ▸ Building respect for each other and a sense of community ▸ Reducing cyber bullying ▸ Teaching self-advocacy skills


HCF SEL EVALUATION

Number of Behavioral Incidents Vary by School

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HCF SEL EVALUATION

How did grantees originally select SEL programs? ▸ TRIBES focus on positive interaction fits with school’s goals of developing strong sense of belonging and building collaboration ▸ Saw P4C in action in a school with high academic achievement and it is compatible with school’s award program for positive behavior ▸ Restorative Practices seemed a good fit with Response to Intervention program and shows promise for shifting focus to prevention and community-building ▸ No Bully program builds on empathy and peer-building dynamics with peer-led conflict resolution ▸ Getting Along Together is designed for entire school, builds on Success for All and includes classroom-level SEL goals and rewards

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HCF SEL EVALUATION

How did grantees originally select SEL programs? ▸ 2nd Step and School-Connect include natural progression of skills from elementary, to middle to high school and includes a family support component ▸ 2nd Step shows propensity of success for middle school; ▸ RULER program well-suited to fostering thoughtful, compassionate and kind global stewards; addresses SEL skills of both adults and children. ▸ TOOLBOX chosen for simplicity, clarity and universal applicability; Voices chosen as a comprehensive curriculum embedded within Language Arts ▸ Mentoring, P4C and peer mediation offer a comprehensive approach for addressing SEL outside of classroom

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HCF SEL EVALUATION

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What does it take to implement SEL? Commitment or “buy-in”

Careful pacing

An SEL champion

Professional development

SEL for adults

Teamwork among teachers and staff

Administrative support

Reflection and flexibility

An effective SEL coordinator

SEL program resources

Time


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

TIME ▸ Prep time ▸ Time to plan the implementation ▸ Time to build a team ▸ Professional development time ▸ Coordination time ▸ Dedicate time at staff meetings ▸ Releasing students from class for solution teams or mentoring ▸ Sufficient staff support to free up time for interacting with students


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

CHAMPION ▸ Passion ▸ Belief ▸ Enthusiasm ▸ Initiative ▸ Determination ▸ Energy ▸ Focus/attentiveness ▸ Reliability/consistency


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

TEAMWORK ▸ Collaboration ▸ Coordination ▸ Communication ▸ Camaraderie


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

SEL COORDINATOR

▸ ▸ ▸ ▸ ▸ ▸ ▸ ▸ ▸

Become the expert Support the teachers Keep communication going Prepare materials Teach curriculum Provide professional development Generate and sustain focus Generate and sustain enthusiasm Review data for program improvements


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

COMMITMENT ▸ Teachers ▸ Administration ▸ Other school staff ▸ Students


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ▸ Training is a key component for most programs

▸ Valuable to include “specials” teachers and other school staff

▸ Important to model SEL lessons and skills

▸ Full day – whole school ▸ Short – build into staff meetings


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

SUPPORT ▸ Principal & other administrators ▸ SEL Coordinator ▸ Program staff/trainer ▸ Teachers ▸ Parents ▸ Community members


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WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

PACING

▸ Slow down and implement slowly and carefully ▸ Phase in program components ▸ Phase in grade levels ▸ Phase in adults vs students ▸ Phase in families and community


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WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

SEL FOR ADULTS ▸ Not about “fixing” broken kids ▸ A way of relating to each other and the world ▸ Adults need to learn SEL skills and model SEL for the students ▸ SEL helps adults be more successful in their own relationships


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WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

REFLECTION AND FLEXIBILITY ▸ Student reflections ▸ Teacher reflections ▸ Flexibility to use reflections to adapt activities, sequencing, pacing, supplemental materials or add new programs or components


HCF SEL EVALUATION

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What do Hawai‘i’s schools say about good fit? ▸ P4C is good fit for quiet students

▸ P4C is good fit for project-based learning ▸ Restorative practices are good fit with Hawaiian culture ▸ Choose Love is good fit with Hawaiian value of aloha ▸ TRIBES and 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens are good fit with students’ reading levels ▸ Getting Along Together is good fit for “rough and tumble” rural students who seem less in touch with feelings than urban students. ▸ Foundational work can have a great impact – such as No Bully work on building an inclusive school culture ▸ May programs address respect for diversity, which is important to diverse school culture ▸ Some programs very flexible, leaving a lot of room to incorporate other SEL tools


HCF SEL EVALUATION

What do Hawai‘i’s schools say about poor fit? ▸ Professional development – neighbor islands might have limited access ▸ Some programs work better for some grade levels than others ▸ Large class size can be a challenge for some programs ▸ Families may resist some concepts – e.g. “mindfulness” seen as Buddhist practice ▸ Students in videos don’t look like them or talk like them ▸ Insufficient focus on prevention ▸ Direct translation from English to Hawaiian is not practical

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HCF SEL EVALUATION

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How are Hawai‘i’s schools adapting for best fit? ▸ Found ways to participate in professional development remotely ▸ Piece together multiple SEL programs for different grade levels ▸ Break down larger classes into smaller instructional groups ▸ Drop the use of the term “mindfulness” ▸ Teachers reframe some of the lessons or activities or look for other supplemental materials. ▸ Some schools add trauma-informed strategies to increase focus on prevention ▸ Some schools add place-based project-based learning with environmental and community service projects ▸ Hawaiian language immersion schools teachers are reinterpreting materials and developing new materials for Hawaiian language instruction


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What considerations would you add? What questions or concerns do you have about choosing the “right� SEL program?


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IN SUMMARY…


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Key principles for getting the right fit ▸ Principle 1: School and district teams should engage diverse stakeholders in the program selection process. ▸ Principle 2: Implement evidence-based SEL programs in the context of systemic district and school programming. ▸ Principle 3: Consider local contextual factors to better understand your resources and challenges


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Which SEL Program programming would best… ▸ Address intended SEL goals or needs ▸ Align with the school’s mission ▸ Meet the specific social-emotional or behavioral needs of students ▸ Fit within school’s schedule or programmatic structure; ▸ Integrate into existing school climate and culture; ▸ Complement other goals outside of SEL ▸ Bridge OST settings and the regular school day


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Recommendations for where to start ▸ Identify school’s SEL needs ▸ Use reviews and ratings to identify candidate programs ▸ Review program descriptions to identify those that best fit schools’ needs and context ▸ Gather additional information about top candidates ▸ Assess cultural sensitivity and linguistic responsiveness of program ▸ Contact and visit schools using program


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Questions? Mahalo! Linda Toms Barker Principal Research Associate IMPAQ International ltomsbarker@impaqint.com 808.934.9297

Profile for Hawaii Community Foundation

Getting the Right Fit: Choosing and Adapting the Right SEL Program for Your School  

Linda Toms Barker, MA Principal Research Associate IMPAQ International

Getting the Right Fit: Choosing and Adapting the Right SEL Program for Your School  

Linda Toms Barker, MA Principal Research Associate IMPAQ International

Profile for hcfhawaii