Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a high priority for Kansans. In the Kansas Can Vision for Education, SEL is one of the five measured outcome set forth by the Kansas State Board of Education. Skills encompassed in SEL include intrapersonal and interpersonal abilities, such as self-awareness, social awareness, problem solving, and decision making. These are skills that can be taught, and they are foundational to student success in school and life. It is important for schools to measure the social-emotional development of students, just as academic development is measured. These measures can inform instructional practice, moving social and emotional learning from a singular endeavor to an integrated part of daily instruction.
The Kansans Can Vision for Education calls for a more student-focused system that provides support and resources for individual success and will require everyone to work together to make it a reality. Together, Kansans Can.
American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a leader in SEL. In October of 2016 AIR released a comprehensive report titled, “When Districts Support and Integrate Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Findings from an Ongoing Evaluation of Districtwide Implementation of SEL. This report provides the research base that demonstrates the importance of integrating SEL in Kansas schools.
For this vision to become reality, SEL must be seamlessly integrated into all areas of the school environment. The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) has produced short video explaining the Kansans Can Vision for SEL, along with the Kansans Can Process for Social Emotional Integration.
Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) adopted aligned SECD Standards in 2012, and was the first state to adopt SEL standards integrated with character development. The second revision of these standards will be submitted to the KSBE for consideration in June 2018.
In addition to the Kansas SECD standards, KSDE has incorporated the Kansans Can Competency Framework. This comprehensive resource is aligned with the Kansans Can Vision for Education, and it supports the integration of social-emotional competencies, curriculum and instruction. The following resources will provide information regarding standards, competencies, resources and measurement of Kansas SEL.
The Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) is the technical assistance provider for KSDE. The KSDE has a wealth of evidence-based resources and professional development opportunities for Kansas educators including a calendar of high quality events with links to registration and a monthly e-newsletter at www.ksdetasn.org. TASN webpages specific to SEL, behavior, trauma, school mental health (SMH), and school culture include:
Other Professional Development Resources include:
Inherent in the Kansans Can Vision are the concepts of school culture, climate, and equity. As schools strive to address the social-emotional and mental health needs of students common themes arise, such as, trauma, trauma informed schools, resiliency, and restorative practices. The following are useful resources related to these topics.
What is trauma-informed? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines it this way. “A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices, and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.” The following resources provide information regarding trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), and resiliency.
A restorative school implements a restorative approach to resolve conflict and heal relationships. Restorative approaches refer to strategies which can be used both to prevent relationship-damaging incidents from happening and to resolve them if they do happen. The following are resources related to restorative justice/practices.
As schools seek to enhance social-emotional learning, it is essential that they be utilizing evidence-based practices. The following resources will link schools to best practices in social-emotional learning.
School psychologists, counselors and social workers are vital in promoting mental health and wellness in our schools. Each of these groups bring unique perspectives to school mental health teams, and provide rich resources and guidance to school staff.
KSDE values the relationship that exists between schools and Community Mental Health Centers. This relationship continues to strengthen as efforts increase to address the mental health needs of students.
The following are state organizations for school psychologists, counselors, social workers, and Kansas Community Mental Health Centers.
American Institute for Research One of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations.
Association for Supervision, Curriculum and Developmentdedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Character Lab Researching and creating new ways to help all students develop character.
Character.org An organization of passionate people advocating for integrity, honesty, respect, and other core ethical values to be fused into education for the betterment of our nation.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Advancing the practice of promoting integrated academic, social, and emotional learning for all children in preschool through high school.
National Center of Safe Supportive Learning Environments Information and technical assistance for States, districts, schools, institutions of higher learning, and communities focused on improving student supports and academic enrichment.
Education Program Consultant
Kansans Can Fact Sheets
Board Goals and Outcomes
Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council
Social, Emotional, and Character Development Fact Sheet (PDF)
Main Team Page
Kansas Integrated Accountability System (KIAS)
Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) (external link)
Kansas’ Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) (external link)
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