DuPage County, Ill.

  • A Small District Model

    Given the limited resources to implement SEL, the leadership of the DuPage County, Ill., Regional Office of Education (ROE) leveraged its existing partnership with CASEL, funded through a grant from NoVo Foundation, to collaborate on a model to build district capacity and sustain SEL in smaller school districts across the county. These 42 public school districts are not large enough to afford the economies of scale available to larger districts. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, this is a common challenge—87.2% of American districts serve student populations of 5,000 or less.

    This multiyear initiative is grounded in CASEL’s emphasis on the creation of systemic changes leading to effective, sustainable, long-term implementation of SEL. The process involves engagement and planning in Year 1, embedding SEL within practice and culture in Year 2, choosing and implementing an evidence-based SEL program in Year 3, and focusing on scaling and sustainability in Year 4 and beyond. CASEL and the DuPage ROE leadership provide professional development and guidance as the model progresses, with targeted support based on needs assessments, observations, and feedback.

    The work has unfolded gradually across seven cohorts of schools:

    Summary of School District Partnerships (Data 2016-17)

    Year School District
    Superintendent
    SEL Contact(s)
    Total number of Schools Total Number of Students Total Number of Certified Staff
     
    2010-11
    Cohort 1
    West Chicago District 33 8 4242 319
    Downers Grove District 58 13 5191 279
    Lisle District 202 4 1560 115
    Totals
     
    25 10,993 713
    2011-12
    Cohort 2
    Medinah District 11 3 663 58
    Villa Park District 45 8 3329 298
    Hinsdale HS District 86 2 4552 380
    Totals
     
    13 8,544 731
    2012-13
    Cohort 3
    Keeneyville District 20 3 1,512 106
    Queen Bee District 16 4 1,915 117
    Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 19 13,112 858
    Totals
     
    27 16,539 1,076
    2013-14
    Cohort 4
    Center Cass District 66 3 996 72
    Community Consolidated District 89 5 2011 137
    Naperville District 203 21 16,917 1113
    Totals
     
    30 19,924 1,250
    2014-15
    Cohort 5
    Community Consolidated District 93 9 3,834 291
    NDSEC* 2* 2,003 130
    Totals
     
       11 * 5,837 421
    2015-16
    Cohort 6
    Wood Dale District 7 4 1204 82
    Lombard District 44 7 3184 213
    Totals
     
    11 4,388 295
    2016-17
    Cohort 7
    Benesenville District 2 3 2151 164
    Totals 16 and a special ed coop 118* 68,376 4,550

    *Northern DuPage Special Education Cooperative serves 9 school districts (2,4,7,10,11,12,13,100, 108 with a total enrollment of @15,000 students)

    DuPage County offers a wide variety of approaches to successful implementation of SEL. For example, a professional learning community meeting in February 2014 offered examples and details of how three of the districts were implementing SEL at the district and school levels. Read more about the PLC meeting and view video segments from the presentations.

    The Wheaton/Warrenville School District produced a video that offers an overview of SEL and the districtwide approach to implementation. The video was  designed to be viewed by all district staff. The district’s work to create a model that is financially sustainable is featured here.

  • Jeff Schuler

    Wheaton-Warrenville,
    District 200

    Superintendent


    SEL in DuPage

    Check out DuPage Regional Office of Education’s new partnership website on SEL.

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