We all know that Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is important to a student’s success. Because of the added benefits of including SEL in the classroom, many schools are now trying to incorporate these skills. But, how do we measure if the students are making any SEL progress? Who measures that? Does your school even have standardized benchmarks for SEL achievement?
Every school district has academic standards – whether it’s State Standards, Common Core or another set of academic goals. Everyone knows what they are supposed to teach, what the terminology is, and what the academic benchmarks are for the students. But what about SEL? Many school districts do not have standards for SEL. Schools interested in establishing SEL as a priority should consider creating a set of K-12 SEL standards. This will ensure that there is a common language with consistent expectations used throughout the district. Once you have expectations, you will then be able to measure progress. This will also give children the tools they need to be successful throughout their school career.
If you are interested in learning about SEL standards, the CASEL website has some great resources.
For most schools, the only measurement of the students SEL achievements are in the comments sections of the report cards. For many students, especially in the younger grades, this may be the most important part of the report card. If your district already has SEL standards, then you should consider revising the report cards to reflect those standards. With clear communication and a common language, benchmarks can be discussed with parents and measured throughout a child’s academic life. You can find more on why and how you can revise your report cards here.
The topic of creating SEL standards and assessing students’ achievements is very new for schools. We are interested in hearing from you. Does your school have SEL standards? How does your school assess students’ progress? How is working out? Let us know in the comment section below.