Special Edition Newsletter: The State of Social and Emotional Learning
This Month's SEL Conversation | January 2022
From the desk of Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel, CASEL President and CEO
Dear SEL community, 

Like you, I believe there is nothing more vital to our young people’s future than an education anchored in social, emotional, and academic learning. I know this as a parent, as a former teacher and school leader, and as a policy influencer.
In my first month as CASEL’s president and CEO, I have experienced each day why the “C” in our name stands for “collaborative.” To light a path forward, we must continue building our coalition to reach families, communities, schools, and statehouses.

Amid significant challenges in educationan ongoing pandemic, a growing crisis around youth mental health, persistent inequities, and divisive politicswe have unprecedented demand and new opportunities for social and emotional learning (SEL). (See CASEL's 2021 SEL Year in Review). 

Building on this momentum, I want to share a few of my initial priorities for 2022 and beyond:
  1. Integrating SEL across every stagefrom early childhood to post-secondary education and workforce development.  
  2. Improving the cultural responsiveness of SEL approaches.
  3. Deepening school, family, and community partnerships to bring more voices to the table.

To reflect on what’s ahead for our field, join Tim Shriver and me this week on January 28 during a special CASEL webinar, “The State of Social and Emotional Learning in 2022: A Conversation with Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel.Register here.

Together, we will continue championing a bright future for all young people.

The past few years have underscored how essential SEL is across every stage of student’s lives. SEL creates a foundation for safe in-person environments, caring relationships, mental wellbeing, engaging instruction, and other key components of healthy development. To set students up for successful adulthood, we must integrate social and emotional learning throughout every moment of their educational experience. This includes embedding SEL into their first classroom experiences, as they transition between elementary and secondary schools, and into post-secondary education and careers.
Today, 53 percent of public school students are people of color, one in five live in rural communities, one in eight have a diagnosed learning disability, and one in 10 are English language learners. SEL approaches need to reflect and celebrate the diversity of our students’ backgrounds, cultures, strengths, and perspectives. Schools and districts can begin by engaging students and families to tailor SEL approaches to their communities. As a field, we need to expand research, evidence-based programs and practices, and effective policies to ensure culturally responsive approaches that benefit all groups of students. 
Across the country, families and educators have elevated the urgency around SEL. The unprecedented demand has also been met with growing confusion. We have ripe opportunities to clarify what evidence-based implementation looks like, share stories about the positive impact on student and adult lives, and provide the resources required to fully support SEL in schools. This is also an important moment to amplify and create space for the vast majority of families and community members who support SEL and whose voices have not been heard. By listening deeply to family and community perspectives, we can begin working together toward solutions.
Even if you can’t attend live, register to receive the recording next week:
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Thank you to CASEL's generous sponsors

The Allstate Foundation and CASEL are collaborating to focus the country’s attention on the power of social and emotional learning to equip the next generation with the skills they need to succeed. The Allstate Foundation champions SEL and service-learning programs to ensure youth reach their full potential and have the power to build the just, equitable and healthy world we all deserve. www.AllstateFoundation.org