Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Successful School Guideline #2 [Challenging]

The school community sets policies specifically promoting (a) the development and sustainability of social, emotional, ethical, civic and intellectual skills, knowledge and dispositions and (b) a comprehensive system to address barriers to learning and teaching and reengage students who have become disengaged.


Suggested Actions that address the Guideline:

  • Integrate standards for SECD into the classroom and the school environment in alignment with Core Content Standards.
    • Provide (design) a set of age appropriate SECD experiences that are articulated from grade level to grade level.
    • Crosswalk the Core Content Standards with the above-mentioned SECD learning experiences such that they are mutually supportive.
  • Provide meaningful learning experiences that appropriately challenge all students regardless of prevailing cultures, circumstances, and languages,
    • Look at curricular offerings at each grade level to ensure that they are appropriately challenging for all students.
    • Be sure to account for differences in cultural bias, language barriers, and other differentiating factors in order to meet the needs of all students.
  • Provide educational experiences that are personally challenging and relevant to each individual student.
    • Provide students with voice and choice by giving them a say in determining their own educational learning goals and program of studies.
    • Create multiple levels of courses (from special needs to honors and AP levels) in order to appropriately accommodate a wide range of student interests and needs.
    • Consider offering an independent study option to allow students to pursue an area of personal interest that is educationally sound, but not able to be offered to the general student population.
  • Provide educational experiences that foster mutual respect, caring, and psychological wellbeing.
    • Train teachers in the basics of Social Emotional Learning and provide them with the tools to provide a respectful and caring environment in their classrooms.
    • Integrate SEL into lessons in all subjects and all levels of instruction.
    • Encourage students to pursue an educational program that challenges them based on their individual abilities and aspirations. This might include honors or AP courses if appropriate. For special educationstudents this means moving students to their least restrictive educational environment.
  • Systematically address barriers to learning through programs such as R.T.I. and other learning supports.
    • Maintain a multi-tiered system of supports to assist students in overcoming barriers to learning through classroom supports as well as small-group and individualized interventions.
    • Within a full slate of educational offerings, place students in their “least restrictive” educational environment. (For some students, this may involve an out-of-district placement.)
  • Encourage students to explore areas of personal interest and ability through curricular and extra-curricular programs.
    • Provide a full slate of curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities to meet a wide range of student interests and needs.
    • Encourage students to explore a range of activities to help them discover what they might wish to pursue in further study or on a lifelong basis.
    • With the current interest on raising schools’ profiles, be aware and respond to the need to maintain course offerings that would interest, engage, and challenge all groups of students in the school.
  • Periodically assess efforts associated with this standard for full integration and effectiveness.

Engage in a regular and periodic curriculum review cycle which includes input from the faculty, students, and parents to ensure that course offerings and scheduling options are meeting the needs of the students