Creating a Professional Learning Community

Despite sub-freezing temperatures, snow, and snarled traffic, representatives from most of the participating districts in the CASEL/DuPage ROE partnership gathered together for the Professional Learning Community meeting of Feb. 5, 2014.

Organized and coordinated by Ruth Cross of CASEL and Maggie Brewner, manager of the initiative for the DuPage ROE, the activities of this three-hour event included discussion of an article on social and emotional learning and presentations by the superintendent of one district and key administrators of two other districts. Featured below are video segments from the presentations and links to documents and handouts that accompanied the presentations.


  • Michael Connolly, superintendent of District 20 (Keeneyville), describes the process of making a commitment to social and emotional learning in the district. Download the handout describing the district’s policy containing five ground rules for effective meetings.

  • In this segment Connolly describes the impact made by his district’s SEL task force. The middle school has seen a 60% reduction in discipline problems.

  • Christine Messina, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction of District 45 (Villa Park) outlines the evolution of the district’s SEL initiative. The district has produced a 30-minute video describing SEL success stories across several different areas that include community-family relations, science instruction, service-learning, and physical education. Download the video. Allow time for this large file–you won’t be disappointed!.

  • Joanne Panopoulos, assistant superintendent for student services, District 200 (Wheaton/Warrenville), discusses the steps in taking SEL to scale in her district. It began with the district administration’s examination of the standards for SEL in Illinois, where policies and programs to support SEL are a requirement.