Social Emotional Learning & Trauma-Informed Practices

Student success depends not only on doing well in core academic subjects but also on acquiring a broad range of social and emotional skills.

In the U.S, nearly half of all children have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), a traumatic event that can disrupt their ability to cope and affect their physical, social, and emotional development.

We must provide opportunities for all students to learn social and emotional skills to help them cope with adversity and foster learning.

Bright Ideas Across the Network

Becoming Trauma-Informed: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma

This brief is the first in a series on Trauma-Informed (TI) approaches in schools.  After a definition of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), topics include
•    A definition of trauma
•    The impact of ACEs and trauma on children and youth, including in the school setting
•    The importance of TI practices in schools

Access this resource from the National Center.

 

How can Social and Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed Practice Help Us Right Now? Risks and Recommendations

This blog post reports on a recent National Comprehensive Center event that offered practical suggestions for integrating SEL and TI practice to build safe, supportive conditions in schools. The roundtable event featured district leaders from Fulton County, Georgia; Juneau, Alaska; and Metro Nashville, Tennessee sharing strategies to integrate social, emotional, academic, and behavioral supports into school systems.

Access this resource from Region 9

Informational Resources on Improving Social and Emotional Learning and Outcomes

This 30-page document lists printed and online resources on social and emotional learning (SEL) in 9 categories:
•    Understanding SEL competencies
•    Measuring SEL competencies
•    Evidence-based SEL interventions
•    District initiatives to improve SEL outcomes
•    School initiatives to improve SEL outcomes
•    Classroom-level SEL implementation
•    Applying an equity lens to SEL supports
•    Applying SEL supports to school reopening
•    National SEL reports and resources for states
The reports/resources are free and easily accessible online (links provided).

Access this resource from Region 6

Getting Oriented to Social-Emotional Learning & Trauma-Informed Practices

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an important part of human development and all children can benefit from learning skills for managing adversity. Combined with SEL, trauma-informed practices (TI practices) in the classroom and throughout the school help children develop healthy behaviors and thrive, even in the face of difficulties and hardships.

This section includes research evidence and other helpful resources to orient you to this topic.

Use the navigation on the left to take a deeper dive.

  • Trauma-informed practices and SEL for students and teachers
  • School-wide implementation of TI practices and SEL
  • Supporting TI practices and SEL at the district and state level

Trauma-informed practices and SEL for students and teachers

Strategies for everyday use.  Intentional practice.  Equitable learning environments.  Teacher self-care.

Teachers are the key to integrating and coordinating classroom practices that develop the social and emotional skills of the children they guide every day. Dealing with their own stress and engaging in self-care eases teachers’ own social and emotional functioning, contributing to better achievement and emotional well-being in their students. 

 

CCNetwork Resources

TI Brief #4: Prioritizing Teachers: Importance of Self-Care and Adult Social and Emotional Competencies
It is important now more than ever for states and districts to support their teachers by addressing their mental health and social and emotional needs. Professional development trainings (PD) are a great way to focus on teacher self-care and foster adult social and emotional competencies that are both critical for creating safe and supportive learning environments. The brief highlights two critical components of professional development trainings for educators –self-care, and adult social and emotional competencies, commonly referred to as “adult SEL.” The brief provides guidance for practitioners at the school, district, and state level on how to develop a tailored approach for conducting PD for educators, by fostering their well-being and building their capacity to engage in trauma-informed pedagogy. Additional resources about PD are provided at the end of the brief.

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Student Engagement in Online Classes: Tips for Teachers Based on Trauma-Informed Approaches and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Strategies
As schools pivot to online teaching, student engagement in the virtual classroom environment has become an urgent and important topic to be addressed. This tip sheet provides concrete strategies that teachers can incorporate into their online teaching to increase engagement with students of middle and high school. The authors present a framework based on trauma-informed (TI) approaches and social and emotional learning (SEL) strategies to ensure students feel safe, connected, engaged, and ready to learn.

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Returning to School: A Toolkit for Principals
One way or another, we are returning to school. We may be in classrooms, or at home, or both. But it will be our school, and it will be different from when we left. One thing will be the same, however, our principal will be looking out for everyone—students, families, teachers, staff. This toolkit is for the principal and the team the principal assembles to help everyone return to school, whatever that may look like. Suggested actions, recommended resources, quick tip sheets—the toolkit is a handy computer desktop companion for helping people with Change, Communication, Collaboration, and Care in the time of COVID.

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Better Together: A Coordinated Response for Principals and District Leaders
It is no secret that successful school leadership starts with the principal. District leadership must prioritize the needs of principals who in turn, will empower the school-based crisis response teams to address the needs of the school community. This brief provides readers with a structured approach to manage the social-emotional well-being of the adults in the school building, post COVID-19 closures. The phrase, “better together,” has never been truer as school communities embark on the uncharted territory of virtual, hybrid and/or physical re-entry after an extended school closure.

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Reimagining Excellence: A blueprint for integrating social and emotional well-being and academic excellence in schools

The Region 13 Comprehensive Center, Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety, and National Center for Systemic Improvement created this blueprint. The blueprint details the indicators of learning programs that successfully integrate equity, well-being, and academics. 

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External Resources

School-wide implementation of TI practices and SEL

A multiyear and multilevel focus on Trauma Informed (TI) practices and social/emotional learning (SEL) at the school level can improve
•    the overall school climate
•    children's mental health and wellbeing
•    literacy and numeracy achievement
•    relationships between educators and students
•    decreases in suspension rates


These resources focus on school-level approaches to SEL and TI practices.

CCNetwork Resources

Taking the First Step to Becoming a Trauma-Informed (TI) School
This resource brief provides guidance for the implementation of trauma-informed (TI) approaches at the school-, district-, and state-level. Adopting a TI approach requires careful consideration of the systems needed to be put into place to support TI practices, policies, and procedures. The brief offers the multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) as a promising framework for integrating TI with social and emotional learning (SEL) practices that are centered on equity, in an effort to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for students.

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Centering Student Voice in Social and Emotional Learning: Strategies for Lasting Change
The Region 8 Comprehensive Center is supporting the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in their mission to center student voice in social and emotional learning. Educators and students will work together in providing safe spaces and healthy environments for all students to share their perspectives and lived experiences. Through collaboration, educators will be able to provide opportunities for students to take leadership roles in these spaces and learning environments to develop important social and emotional competencies.

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Implementing Trauma-Informed Approaches: Practitioners' Perspectives Roundtable
In this multimedia package created from a roundtable session, presenters share their experiences in implementing trauma-informed practices. As many U.S. schools begin returning to in-person or hybrid instruction, it is clear that the surge in mental health and socioemotional needs of students requires comprehensive systems and supports in schools. Presenters share their insights and experiences in implementing trauma-informed (TI) approaches in various school settings. The panelists provide an overview of the planning process and implementation, both at the school- and district-level, starting from how they got the buy-in, the funding, the resources, as well as the challenges they faced and how they addressed them.

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Trauma-Informed Practices Resource List Dashboard

This dashboard contains curated collections of resources in four Trauma-Informed Practices topics: Distance Learning, Addressing Grief, Historical Trauma and Self-Care for Educators. The collections will be updated regularly.

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External Resources

Supporting TI practices and SEL at the district and state level

Educational leaders can foster widespread changes in school policies and procedures in the areas of SEL and TI practices. By implementing systemic changes and developing an SEL/TI infrastructure, leaders can ensure uniformity, high quality, efficiency, and accountability across districts and even to out-of-school settings.  Students will reap the benefits of this unwavering support from their administrators at the district and state level.

CCNetwork Resources

Assessing Socioemotional Needs: Return-To-School Surveys for Teachers, School Counselors, Parents, and Students
As schools prepare to reopen, district and school leaders must understand the socioemotional needs of the school community in order to plan for a safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment. These four surveys are designed to get feedback from educators, students, caregivers, and school counselors about their experience with online learning/teaching during COVID-19 related school closures. The surveys ask about concerns over school reopening, communication from school/districts, mixed modes of learning (in-person and virtual), readiness to learn, readiness to support students, and the training and resources needed. The surveys each take ~ 10-15 minutes to complete, and contain closed- and open-ended questions that can generate summary scores as well as qualitative responses that can be used in the planning process.

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Centering Equity in the Indiana Department of Education's Social-Emotional Learning Competencies

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) requested assistance from the Region 8 Comprehensive Center (Region 8 CC) to co-facilitate and design a Stakeholder Review Committee. This request is a component of the Indiana (IN) Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Social-Emotional Learning Initiative (2020-R8-I-002 IN-02-Year2). The purpose of the committee was to center the voices of the content experts in the field in understanding ways to make equity more explicit in the PK-12 IDOE Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies.

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Improving Coordination and Access to Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health Services in California

The Region 15 Comprehensive Center (R15 CC) and the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) collaborated with the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State Board of Education (SBE) to conduct an initial landscape analysis to understand the current state of school-based mental health referral pathways in California.

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Behavioral Health Brief
This brief provides a holistic perspective of physical and behavioral health from a Native worldview. The richness, depth, and beauty of this perspective is much more than what can be observed in an educational setting. The authors consider how history affects the health of Native people today. This academic-level review focuses on the cultural aspects of physical and behavioral health.

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Addressing Students’ Social Emotional And Mental Health Needs
Presenters in this session discussed how the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu partnered with a local district and college to develop a social and emotional learning course to support students’ long-term mental health. Learn how this four-unit course integrated multi-tiered systems of supports in local schools and hear about plans to expand the program nationally.

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External Resources