Kansas State Department of Education

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Social, Emotional and Character Development

Social-emotional and character development (SECD) skills encompass 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 and 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.

Kansas State SECD Standards and Frameworks

Kansas state SECD standards have been in effect since April of 2012, and are subject to a scheduled revision process. A committee chaired by Kent Reed, program consultant with KSDE, began this revision process in October 2017. Newly revised state SECD standards are expected to be completed by August 2018.

School Mental Health Professional Development

The 2017-2022 School Personnel Development Grant addresses a singular critical Kansas priority area for schools by establishing a systematic, coordinated, tiered system of trauma-informed, school mental health that will build the resilience of Kansas children and adolescents with disabilities and their peers.

State Personnel Development Grant Proposal (PDF)

KSDE Resources for Social-Emotional Learning

The following resources have been developed by KSDE and the Technical Assistance System Network (TASN), the technical assistance provider for KSDE.

Recommended Websites

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.

Technical Assistance System Network Technical assistance to support school districts’ systematic implementation of evidence-based practices.

Kansas School Mental Health Associations

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.

Trauma-Informed Schools

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.

Restorative Practices

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.

Tools to Support Healthy Social-Emotional Schools

The Kansas State Board of Education has identified social-emotional growth at one of five Board Outcomes. This increased focus has prompted schools to examine the topic of social-emotional learning, and healthy social-emotional environments. The following provides resources on characteristics of socially and emotionally healthy schools, as well as tools for integrating social-emotional learning into school policies, practices and procedures.

Evidence-Based 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.

Considerations for Measuring SECD Locally

The needs and strengths of each school system are unique. The State Board of Education expects individual school systems to measure social-emotional learning, and determine the best way to assess, implement and support SECD locally.

Considerations on how to assess social-emotional learning:

Tools for measuring SECD locally:

Myron Melton
Education Program Consultant
(785) 296-4941

Kerry Haag
Assistant Director
(785) 296-4952

Kathy Busch
Chair/State School Board Representative:
School Mental Health Advisory Council

Kansans Can Fact Sheets
Board Goals and Outcomes
Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council
Social, Emotional, and Character Development Fact Sheet (PDF)

ECSETS Team Pages

Main Team Page
Early Childhood
Special Education
Title Services
Fact Sheets
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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Problems with this page contact:
Evelyn Alden

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