CASEL works closely with districts across the country, including ten of the largest urban school districts through the Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI) and nine district communities through the Wallace SEL Initiative Districts. At the request of the CDI districts, we have created Professional Learning Communities to help these districts be more thoughtful and strategic in their development of effective, integrated practices and policies.
Four Professional Learning Communities have been created to date.
Equity Work Group (EWG)
A commitment to SEL involves an understanding of equity and a willingness of decision-makers to think about SEL through an equity lens. The aim of the Equity Work Group (EWG) is to assist district SEL and Equity Leads in focusing on the connections between SEL and equity efforts in districts. This can lead to greater understanding of the role equity plays in contributing to successful SEL. The Equity Work Group will provide districts with the tools, strategies, resources, and most important, the relationships needed to integrate equity and SEL effectively. The group is committed to working on documentation and frameworks that will help illustrate the potential synergies between these two areas of work.
Professional Learning Series
The Professional Learning Series strives to sustain and support the SEL work occurring in the CDI districts. These convenings are designed to allow SEL teams to share professional learning materials, align best practices for professional learning, and engage in practitioner-led discussions focused on practice-related problems in their districts. Supported by NoVo Foundation, this ongoing activity provides the participants with information they can easily share within their respective districts to improve professional learning as a strategy leading toward systemic SEL implementation.
Research and Evaluation Professional Learning Community
CASEL facilitates a learning community of school district staff whose work focuses on research and evaluation. This group meets virtually on a bi-monthly basis for webinars. The webinars have focused on highlighting the work of specific districts. For example, Washoe County School District presented on their annual Youth Data Summits in October. Most recently, the Nashville Metropolitan School District shared their Walkthrough Protocol for observing schools’ implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL) practices. CASEL also works to facilitate sharing of resources and expertise among districts by promoting an understanding of district-level SEL-related research and evaluation and offering relevant support to districts when needed.
The Superintendents Roundtable provides an opportunity for educational leaders to discuss topics in education and SEL focused on supporting best practices, implementation, and innovation. The roundtable is a platform for meaningful leadership in the CDI and for superintendents to provide thoughtful exchanges of ideas and fellowship.