Please follow this
to our most recent research report,
Building Community-Wide Social and Emotional Support Systems in Massachusetts Gateway Cities
. Produced in partnership with the UMass Donahue Institute, this report examines the status of a wide range of efforts to help foster the social and emotional growth of students in urban school districts across the Commonwealth.
Through surveys and interviews, the study uncovers an impressive amount of activity. Gateway City educators clearly see school-based efforts to provide social and emotional
supports as critical prevention for at-risk children. They also recognize that social-
emotional learning in the classroom-the foundation upon which these systems rest-enhances the ability of all students to collaborate, problem-solve, and persevere.
Delivering robust social and emotional support was a key component in the education vision Gateway City leaders developed collaboratively with MassINC's assistance in 2013. While this new report reveals real progress toward building these systems, it also highlights the many difficulties Gateway City educators have encountered, from training faculty and responding sensitively to the cultural diversity of their students and families, to developing effective partnerships with community mental health providers.
All around the country, strategies to support the social and emotional growth of students are drawing increasing attention. Our hope is that this research report will provide value to policymakers in Massachusetts and beyond, as they consider how to lend a hand to communities committed to providing strong student supports. We believe it is particularly valuable to view the policy environment through the lens of midsize urban school districts outside of major cities, where vulnerable families are increasingly concentrated. Youth development organizations and children's mental health service are often in short supply in these communities. Drawing from our surveys and interviews with Gateway City leaders, we provide several recommendations for responsive education policy.
To further this conversation, MassINC will be co-hosting
a breakfast forum with the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and Transforming Education on October 26th. Please keep an eye out for a formal invitation in your email inbox.