The Eugene School District’s explicit focus on social and emotional learning began during the superintendency of Sheldon Berman (2011-15). With support from CASEL, the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, and NoVo Foundation, the district developed a Caring for Kids program, including a “Caring School Communities” curriculum and professional development. Starting with six schools, the program expended over three years to include all 19 elementary schools. They use a hybrid model that ensures every classroom begins the day with morning meeting, uses class meetings as appropriate, and ends the day with a closing meeting. Teachers and principals have enthusiastically embraced the efforts.
Priorities for 2016-17 include
- Develop and pilot a school climate survey
- Establish consistency with training and distribution of materials to ensure that all staff have the tools necessary for implementation of Caring For Kids with fidelity
- Maintain a School Climate Steering Committee (classroom teachers, counselors, principals, board members, district leaders, and a behavior support specialist) to oversee school climate activities
- Provide ongoing professional learning for leaders and teachers related to best practices for SEL