We begin 2022 wishing you, your families, and students a happy, healthy, and hopeful New Year - who would have thought this January these words would mean so much. It has been an unexpected and turbulent start to 2022 which is why we think it is so important to add another word to the customary New Year's greeting... hopeful. We are hopeful this year will see an end to the ongoing crisis and that we will all be able to find solace and inspiration in the coming weeks and months as the days get longer and spring arrives. In the meantime, we are doing our best to provide support and resources to help see you through. Below in the newsletter you will find good ideas and helpful resources that don't require heavy lifting! Be sure not to miss the section on Spotlighting Good Ideas -- all of these ideas were shared by participants during our Coffee Chats (please join us if you haven't already!). Likewise, there is still time to participate in a wonderful workshop series which will run from January-May - Building Within: Cultivating Well-Being and Emotional Resilience in Educators. Hope to see you all at one of our School Support Network meetings or coffee chats in the coming weeks!
Wondering How to Use Your ARP and ESSER Funds - SCCI Can Help!
The School Culture and Climate Initiative provides the following:

  • SEL teacher coaching (all levels)
  • Professional development in all areas of SEL

School Climate
  • Three-year all-inclusive, consultant supported, School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process with baseline and follow-up climate surveys for all in the school community. This process includes the integration of SEL.* 

Professional Development
  • Trauma-informed approaches, cultural competencies, equity, team building, SEL, and many more areas - designed specifically for your school/district
  • We are able to develop a series of workshops to support your school and address specific objectives.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  • Staff well-being PLCs/Parent PLCs 
  • PLCs available that bring schools together around similar jobs (school counselor/administrator) as well as shared professional development (School Support Network)

  • School Climate Assessment (students, staff, parents) with data analysis and in-person detailed data review
  • Other assessment tools available including Equity, Social Inclusion, and Bullying Prevention
  • Student and staff surveys disaggregated by key sub-groups

An Integrated Approach* to School Climate Improvement, SEL, and Equity
  • We know school climate, SEL, and equity are intertwined and to be most effective any school improvement approach needs to address all three areas in a coordinated manner. We are very pleased to be able to offer schools and districts a comprehensive, customized, three-year, data-driven approach that will build capacity within staff and ensure time and resources are used most effectively. True change is hard and takes time - this integrated approach supports your school throughout the process.  
SCAIP Professional Learning Community
2021-2022 School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process (SCAIP) Virtual PLCs
These PLCs are a networking opportunity designed for SCAIP schools that are just beginning; are currently in years 2, 3 or extended 4; or have completed the 3-year School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process. During the SCAIP PLCs, educators have the chance to share, learn and inspire each other.
Individual representatives or the entire Culture and Climate team are welcome to attend! Watch your email for a formal invitations to each PLC and share with your colleagues!
Save the Dates
February 8 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Register Now
May 10 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
SEL Day 2022
Finding Common Ground, Pursuing Common Good
March 11, 2022
We know that social emotional learning (SEL) changes lives. Studies show that SEL delivers long-term improvements in skills, behavior, and academic performance while reducing anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. SEL competencies are also critically important for long-term success in today’s economy.

We know you get it, but many members of our communities don’t know about SEL yet.

Sign up today to showcase, promote, advocate for and support SEL in your school and community. Create an artifact and send it out on social media with the hashtag (#SELday) on March 11th. The goal is to have #SELday trending worldwide. Spread the word about what SEL is and why it's so critical! 
If you create an artifact (which many New Jersey schools did for SEL Day last year!) it would be wonderful if you could send a copy of your artifact (video, photos, blogs, podcasts, etc.) with the theme of your artifact included in the subject line with one or two words (for example Kindness, Connection, Staff Morale, Student Voice, Respect) to SEL4NJ and to the School Culture and Climate Initiative. We will be sure to share the artifact on SEL Day. 
We are excited to showcase and highlight the amazing SEL work taking place in our New Jersey schools! 
Resources and Webinars
Article: "Culturally Responsive Social-Emotional Learning: How to Get There"
“In order for social and emotional learning to deliver maximum impact, it needs to be integrated into daily classroom routines and practices, not taught separately. SEL is not a district initiative for learning loss but is all about the culture.” Read more
Article: "Empathy Is a Crucial Skill. Here Is How We Are Teaching It to Our Students"
“Students are often pitted against each other in the classroom. They are taught that to do well, they must rise above those around them, and the journey to success is an individual undertaking. But in my time as an educator, I have learned that not only can students succeed when given opportunities to grow and learn in the community, they thrive.” Read more
Article: "Teachers (and Students) Can Only Take So Much"
"Rather than push more content and new initiatives, this year teachers and administrators should consider scaling back." Read more

Article: "6 Simple Ways to Build Trusting Relationships With Staff"
Being vulnerable and taking the time to build a strong foundation helps nurture the change you want to see in your school. Read more

Article: "Defending a Teacher’s Right to Disconnect"
Remember personal time? For many educators, technology has driven it toward extinction—and it’s time to get serious about reclaiming it. Read more

"Youth Mental Health First Aid"
The Northeast and Caribbean Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) can provide Youth Mental Health First Aid to your school or organization at no cost. "Youth Mental Health First Aid" is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders." 

If you are interested in receiving training, please email us.
The Academy for SEL in Schools, a partnership between Rutgers University and Saint Elizabeth University, offers certificate programs for educators and educational leaders in social-emotional and character development.
SEL4NJ is a state-wide coalition that promotes high-quality SEL throughout the state. Sign up now to join this effort and to stay informed about national and state SEL news!
The School Culture and Climate Initiative (SCCI) is based at the Center for Human and Social Development at Saint Elizabeth University.