May 15, 2020
Letter from Liz and Trish
It was wonderful connecting with those of you who were able to join us for the School Support Network meeting last week. We continue to experiment with format and are looking forward to seeing many of you at the next School Support Network meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th at 2:00 p.m. There is still time to register! This will be a more informal session and will be primarily focused on providing a venue for connection and providing all of you with time to discuss and share. This past week the importance of social-emotional skills and school climate received national attention. The School Culture and Climate Initiative joined many other organizations from around the country as a signatory to a letter sent to the Governor’s Association advocating for SEL to be included in any COVID-19 related education funding. The Aspen Institute Education and Society group also issued a comprehensive report:  State Actions to Support Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: Fostering Connectedness in the Pandemic Era . The report shares ten specific policy solutions and actions that states can take to ensure SEL (and a positive climate) are front and center in the COVID era. We will continue to advocate for schools, students, and staff as we move into the next couple of months and the eventual return to in-person teaching. Still sending all of you amazing people lots of positive energy!
COVID-19 Update
During this time of distance learning, social-emotional skills and a positive school culture and climate have never been more important and our commitment to supporting schools has only become stronger. All of our services, which will continue to be customized to meet your needs, have been adapted and updated to be provided virtually. When schools reopen, we will continue to offer both in-school support as well as the virtual offerings detailed below.  
Professional Development (PD)
Professional development is an integral part of our services and support for schools and districts.
  • Workshops are delivered by our expert partners and can be delivered virtually with small or large groups
  • Length of each session can be adjusted to fit your schedule 
Examples of PD Sessions in Response to COVID-19:
  • Creating Safe Digital Learning Environments
  • Strategies to Increase Student Engagement and Sense of Belonging
  • Tips for Facilitating Effective Virtual Class Meetings
  • Self-Care Strategies for Educators
  • Reaching our Full Potential by Understanding our Stress Responses

Click here for a list of additional PD options.
School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process (SCAIP)
SCAIP is a three-year process that helps schools and community members better understand and strengthen their current culture and climate.
  • All SCAIP meetings can now be provided virtually
  • The School Culture and Climate Survey is available as an online survey
  • SCAIP professional learning community can bring people together virtually to share ideas and support one another
Teacher Coaching
The School Culture and Climate Initiative offers one-to one or small group coaching for teachers who are interested in honing their skills in incorporating social-emotional learning and creating positive climates in their classrooms.
  • Coaching sessions can be provided virtually until we are able to reconnect in person
School Climate Assessment Lab (Lab)
The Lab supports those schools going through SCAIP but can also support those who are interested in assessing their school climate but may not need the additional support available through the three-year improvement process. 
  • All surveys are available online and in-person data review sessions can be offered virtually
School Support Network (SSN)
The SSN is a professional learning community that meets monthly and brings together professionals working with students in grades pre-K-12 for professional development and networking. 
  • SSN meetings are now being held virtually  
  • Click here for our schedule of upcoming meetings
For questions about our virtual options, please contact Liz Warner , Co-Director of the School Culture and Climate Initiative.
Honored to be May Sustainability Heroes
Sustainable Jersey is a network and movement of municipalities, schools and school districts working collectively to empower New Jersey communities to build a better world for future generations. Each month, they recognize a local leader or leadership team with an inspiring story of contribution to a sustainable future. The May 2020 Sustainability Heroes are Patricia Heindel, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Warner, the Co-Founders of the School Culture and Climate Initiative. Liz and Patricia are nationally recognized for their exemplary achievements in the field of social-emotional learning and school climate. Through their tireless work and visionary focus, these sustainability heroes have developed one of the most comprehensive initiatives in New Jersey to both improve school climates and promote students’ health and wellness from kindergarten through 12th grade. Visit the Sustainable Jersey Heroes page to learn more.
The Academy for SEL in Schools , a partnership between Rutgers University and the College of Saint Elizabeth, 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. Currently, SEL4NJ is working with SEL4US to provide resources that are tailored, vetted and helpful to schools, staff, teachers, parents and students during this time of distance learning. There are already a number of great resources and there will be more posted during the next couple of weeks/months.   Sign up now to join this effort and to stay informed about national and state SEL news!
Need Assistance with a School Climate Survey? 
The School Climate Assessment Lab (Lab), which is part of the School Culture and Climate Initiative, offers a variety of reliable and useful tools along with data analysis and reporting, and assistance with interpreting the data for action planning. If you are seeking a school climate survey to use in the coming year, the Lab can assist you with administration of the School Culture and Climate Assessment Survey for students and staff (online or paper; English or Spanish); data analysis and a customized data report; and an in-person data review to discuss findings, strengths and opportunities for growth. For those schools seeking additional support in addressing those opportunities for growth, consider participating in the School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process (SCAIP), a three-year individualized school improvement process. SCAIP includes all of the Lab services mentioned but also offers additional guidance and support from a school climate expert. To learn more about the Lab or SCAIP, contact Patricia Heindel , Ph.D., Co-Director of the School Culture and Climate Initiative. 
The School Culture and Climate Initiative (SCCI) is based at the Center for Human and Social Development at the College of Saint Elizabeth.
For questions about SSN meetings, contact Liz Warner
For questions about or difficulty with registration, contact Leighann Garland