APRIL NEWSLETTER

  • HOW TO HELP EXPAND SEL IN CALIFORNIA
  • AFTERSCHOOL NEEDS HELP
  • ALLIANCE MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS
  • UPDATE ON PARENT FAIR AND STATEWIDE CONFERENCE 
  • LATEST RESEARCH INFO TO USE IN ADVOCATING FOR SEL AND TEACHING IT
  • SESAME STREET PLAYS SEL
  • THE DALAI LAMA ROLLS OUT AN SEL PROGRAM
  • GOOD READINGS
  • NEW MEMBERS

YOU CAN WITH LITTLE EFFORT HELP EXPAND SEL IN CALIFORNIA 

Here is a quiz:

Do you want to see SEL advance in this state faster with support and funding from the state government?

If yes, will you say yes to taking a few minutes to engage with the legislature to help this effort? 

Our counterparts and mentors, the Massachusetts SEL Alliance, has been successful in advancing SEL adoption in their state well beyond California’s, including in playing a key role in their legislature recently creating a special SEL-inclined state commission (to which the Mass. Alliance has been appointed as a permanent member) to promote positive mental, emotional and behavioral health and early intervention for persons with mental illness and those inclined to substance abuse.

They primarily did it with phone calls, emails and visits to legislators.

Here are bills that deserve our support because they will, in different ways, advance SEL implementation. Also the link below provides fast access to your legislators, so you need only call or write and say “I support the following bills and I ask you to do the same.”

FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/your_legislator.html

AB 167 seeks to provide more funds for childcare and development services for infants and toddlers.
AB 194 – $1 billion for enlarged early preschool and child care. (Pre-schools are SEL leaders.)
AB 895 – reforms and expands mental health services for youth and would impose a tax of 1% on incomes of $1 million or more.
AB 1196 – Enhances model “county education department community schools” in at-risk regions.
AB 1624 – seeks to provide more funding for monitoring and reporting on what is and isn’t working around school climate and mental health elements such as SEL.
AB 1725 – Makes up for recent cutbacks in after-school programs. (More on this below)
SB 686 –  Creates a competition grant program for low-income areas with at-risk youth that includes in its focus “whole child” development from cradle to career.

FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/your_legislator.html

WORTH NOTING: The Mass. Alliance Is currently supporting a legislative bill that we could emulate in California. The bill will make SEL training an explicit requirement of educator and administrator licensure and renewal. More to come on this.

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AFTERSCHOOL NEEDS HELP

Among the leading lights in promoting social-emotional learning in California are the state’s afterschool programs, which have a higher SEL adoption rate than day schools, with support from their umbrella association the California Afterschool Network.

Afterschool programs are now at risk because of flat funding by the state for some time and with federal funds threatened. In March, hundreds of afterschool staff, students, parents, alumni and supporters went to Sacramento “to show our Governor and Legislature why we need to Save Afterschool,” as afterschool program LA’s Best, an Alliance member, reported, noting:  “The stakes are higher now than they’ve ever been. Without an increase to state afterschool funding, thousands of children and families could lose access to this critical service.” 

Advocates met with 120 members of the Legislature, backed by support from localities, including resolutions from the LA City Council and LAUSD board. AB 1725 is the proposed legislation fix, introduced by Assembly member Wendy Carrillo and listed above as among the bills we encourage Alliance members to get behind.  Again, your emails and calls do make a difference! 

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ALLIANCE MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

(Send Your News and Announcements to info@sel4ca.org)

Committee for Children To Launch “Outside Classroom” Version of Second Step

Joan Duffel

Alliance member Committee for Children (CFC)  announced this month that it is creating a new SEL program for afterschool care, summer camps, and other learning environments beyond the classroom. The Wallace Foundation is providing an assistance grant of $836,500 to launch an adaptation of CFC’s award-winning Second Step program during the 2019–2020 school year. Second Step currently reaches 14 million children annually, from preschoolers to middle schoolers.

CFC’s executive director Joan Cole Duffell outlined an ambitious plan. “For SEL to make its greatest impact this vital area of learning should take place in all facets of a child’s life,” she wrote. “We have committed ourselves to positively transforming the social-emotional well-being of 100 million children annually by 2028, and this investment in out-of-school time programming will be integral to reaching that goal.”
Click for more details

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SEL Parenting Guidance from Laura Markham

Alliance member and parent coach Thanna Vickerman (see chooseloveparenting.com) urges other members to share with parents the upcoming course from her teacher and mentor Dr. Laura Markham, author of  Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids.  The course includes a good deal of bonus material including Markham’s earlier “Conscious Co-Parenting” series from her Aha! Parenting website, along with some exclusive interviews. 
Click for more details

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Special SEL Improv Games for Educators and Parents – and a Summer Camp

Alliance member Maja Watkins of Zip Zap Zop Enrichment and her colleague Tia Marie Harrison are leading a series of what they call Improv Games to teach SEL social skills to educators and parents in a relaxed atmosphere. From Maja: “Many social skills classes are in clinical settings where they have specific goals that are being worked on in a particular way by the support providers. Life isn’t always that mapped out.
 
“The only way to… reach our highest potential socially, is to use creative learning moments that help us practice the skills that are needed without even knowing we are doing it….In life, if your significant other upsets you and you decide to communicate your feelings to him/her do you say to yourself “I am using my communication skills?” Not always…. Improv games are more comparable to life experiences than many social skills classes offer because they create moments where we work on various skills collaboratively.” 
 
For Alliance members with children or to recommend to parents:  Zip Zap Zop separately has inclusive summer improv-oriented camps in Mid-City Los Angeles,  Pasadena, and Santa Monica. Zip Zap Zop is a Vendor of Regional Center, so some camps are eligible for Regional Center Funding. 

For info about either email Maja at zipzapzopenrichment@gmail.com
 
Click here to read more about improv SEL at Inspired Parenting Magazine, an Alliance member.

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UPDATE ON ALLIANCE PARENT FAIR

Planning continues on holding the first Alliance SEL Parent Fair this summer in Los Angeles as a test model for galvanizing parents into the cause.  The centerpiece agreed to by Planning Team members will be a series of demonstration trainings by Alliance members for attending children that parents can witness, each demonstration touching on a different SEL theme, such as emotional management or resilience.

There will also be brief talks on research results of SEL intermittently with the demos, tabling, and separate parent advocacy materials and guidance.  Most likely venue is a school. 

To let us know you want to be involved in the Parent Fair, please contact info@sel4ca.org and watch for our email announcements.

NOTE that an email was sent to Alliance member providers calling for proposals to present at the Parent Fair to be sent in this week.

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LATEST INFO TO USE IN ADVOCATING FOR AND TEACHING SEL  

Anyone with SEL school experience, or who has checked research data, knows SEL leads to improvements in attendance, behavior and course performance. The firm Panorama Education recently announced the results of its study focused on the 2017-2018 school year, which sought to determine exactly which elements of SEL lead to specific best outcomes. 

Its national sample covered 112,670 students in 192 schools in 26 districts and 16 states. It found that improvements in attendance and grades correlated most closely with classroom instruction in self-management and self-efficacy. Behavioral improvements correlated most closely with training in self-management and social awareness; also with the quality of teacher-student relationships.   

Panorama: “With this research, educators can make informed decisions about what to target if they hope to impact attendance, behavior, and course performance. We recommend focusing on specific SEL topics based on your district’s key goals in addition to these and other research findings.”

Click for details.

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School and Family Partnerships That Advance SEL

The following research info is taken directly from the California Dept. of Education’s monthly SEL Initiative Newsletter.  We encourage Alliance members to subscribe to the newsletter by sending a “blank” message to

join-sel-planning@mlist.cde.ca.gov.


“School and family partnerships can be as important to students’ SEL development as their academic progress, finds a new meta-analysis in the American Educational Research Association’s Review of Educational Research journal. 

EdWeek’s article Tighter Home-School Bonds Improve Students’ Social and Emotional Skills (as Well as Academics) takes a closer look at this review of 117 studies of interventions that focused on improving students’ mental health and SEL development through partnerships between parents and schools.”

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SESAME STREET PLAYS SEL

This fall at the latest, Sesame Street in a joint venture with McGraw-Hill will bring research-based Sesame Street content and expertise into pre-kindergarten (PreK) and elementary school classrooms across the U.S. “The first integrated program will incorporate critical social emotional learning skills like empathy, self-awareness and resilience into McGraw-Hill’s industry-leading Wonders literacy programs for PreK and elementary students, equipping the youngest learners for success from the start,’ the companies announced last year.

Sesame Street has also been active on the SEL front with PBS Kids, as the image above encapsulates. 

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AND NOW A WORD FROM THE DALAI LAMA

Early this month His Holiness the Dalai Lama became one of the few globally-known individuals to associate publicly with and strongly promote what he calls “SEE” (social, emotional and ethical learning). At a press conference in Delhi, he announced his alliance with  Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in support of programs that are available in 12 languages, including English, via Emory.  

The main reason for the introduction of SEE Learning, the Dalai Lama said, “is because of the existing education system, which is not adequate and does not guarantee happiness. Children from the kindergarten stage [onward] should be taught about basic human values, which are grounded in common sense, common experience and scientific evidence to which everyone can relate to.” 

SEE Learning Associate Director Brendan Ozawa-de Silwa said that “the program brings the latest innovations in social and emotional learning, systems thinking, compassion and ethics, attention training, and trauma and resilience together in a single comprehensive package for teachers and schools with the intention of realizing the 14th Dalai Lama’s vision for a holistic education of heart and mind. 

“SEE Learning consists of a framework… that is tailored for different age levels and an online platform for preparing and supporting educators and schools. All these materials are made globally available for free, thanks to the generous support of his holiness.”  Read more. 

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GOOD READINGS

* Report commissioned by Microsoft on importance of SEL in age of artificial intelligence.
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California Schools Find Success Building Student Confidence and Campus Culture
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From Silicon Valley: Why SEL is Needed in Schools

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NEW MEMBERS

Laura Lawson – Teacher, Riverside
Melissa Jones – Principal, Fresno Unified School District, Clovis
Alexia Everett – Senior Program Officer, Stuart Foundation, San Francisco
Anisa Hamden – Executive Director, The Torch Foundation, Culver City
Mitra Forsberg – President, Forsberg Consulting, Los Angeles
Daphna Ram – Valiant Marglow, Long Beach
Betsy Carlson, Director of Outreach, Jesse Lewis Choose Love Program, Northern California
Lisa MacKenzie  – Ambassador, Jesse Lewis Choose Love Program, Davis
Nathan Roman – U.S. 
Neina Dobrick – Business Development Project Manager, Chicago
Tuqa Yousseff – Public Relations Project Manager, New York
Ceclia Aponte – Business Development Project Manager, Austin