September 26, 2017 - In This Issue:

We're excited to share a new white paper that adds to the growing momentum to bring social and emotional learning into every school. Our paper provides solutions to the challenges of implementing SEL in high school classrooms. We also offer some new research into the importance and benefits of SEL. In addition, we have a list of resources to help you engage your students and peers in productive conversations in the wake of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and other expressions of racism, prejudice, and bias.  
Here's to a great school year,
Lucy Patton
Engage! Newsletter Editor

Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in High School Classrooms

Engaging Schools' new white paper to meet the challenges of SEL in high school

We're pleased to share with you our new white paper, Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in High School Classrooms, funded by the NoVo Foundation. 
An extensive body of research demonstrates that education which promotes SEL increases personal well-being, reduces problem behaviors, and supports academic achievement. Although w ell-researched strategies exist for implementing SEL in elementary grades in ways that reach and impact every child, there is little clarity and far less research on how to implement comprehensive SEL in high school settings.
Drawing on more than 20 years' experience working with secondary school leaders and classroom teachers, we advocate that embedding SEL instruction and support into classroom learning is foundational to reaching all students, every day, all year long.
Our approach offers concrete practices that create more equitable and engaging classrooms which, in turn, support improved academic performance and strengthen students' social and emotional competencies.
Resources for educators, post-Charlottesville  

After the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last month, Engaging Schools collected resources to help teachers and others have conversations with students and other adults about racism, inequity, and more. See our list here.
As Valerie Strauss wrote in the Washington Post, "teachers nationwide should expect students to want to discuss what happened in Charlottesville as well as other expressions of racial and religious hatred in the country. While such discussions are often seen as politically charged and teachers like to steer clear of politics, these conversations are about fundamental American values, and age-appropriate ways of discussing hatred and tolerance in a diverse and vibrant democracy are as important as anything young people can learn in school."
"Focusing on social and emotional development is worth it." 
The Council of Distinguished Scientists, a component of the National Commission on SEL Research Brief Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, has developed and unanimously endorsed a research brief that includes a set of consensus statements and the research behind them. The Evidence Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students' Social, Emotional, and Academic Development draws from brain science, medicine, economics, psychology, and education research. The brief, co-authored by Stephanie Jones (an Engaging Schools board member and reviewer of our new white paper) offers four main findings: (1) social, emotional, and academic development matters; (2) social and emotional skills are malleable; (3) schools play a central role in social, emotional, and academic development; and (4) focusing on social and emotional development is worth it. Jones, quoted in a recent article in Education Week, says, "The evidence should move us beyond debate as to whether schools should address students' social and emotional learning to how schools can effectively integrate social, emotional, and academic development into their daily work." Click here to download the brief.
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Engaging Schools is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with middle and high school educators to create schoolwide communities of learning that integrate academics with social and emotional development. We provide professional learning and publications for instructional practice, classroom management, discipline and student support, postsecondary readiness, and advisory programs - all grounded in the values of equity, community, and democracy. The result: engaging schools where each and every student succeeds and makes positive contributions in school, work, and life.  

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