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October 7, 2016: Fall 2016 Road Map Region Social and Emotional Learning Symposium

POSTED ON October 12, 2016

Whole Child, Whole Day: Elevating and Integrating Social-Emotional Learning

On October 7, 2016 YDEKC hosted a first-of-its-kind symposium on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in the Road Map region. The symposium brought together school and community leaders, funders, and researchers interested in culturally responsive, trauma-informed, whole child approaches to teaching and learning.

The symposium provided attendees with an opportunity to consider ongoing efforts in the region in the context of Washington State’s newly recommended Social-Emotional Learning Benchmarks. These benchmarks provide a statewide framework and system for effective SEL programming both in and out of school.

Read our report describing the symposium here (NEW).

Symposium Materials

Session Descriptions and Materials

**More materials will be added as they become available**

Case Study, Graham Hill Elementary: Using Social Emotional Learning to Improve Student Achievement  Deena Russo, Principal, Graham Hill Elementary, and Paul Johnson, Counselor, Sound Mental Health

Graham Hill Elementary in Seattle Public Schools has integrated Social Emotional Learning throughout the school day to serve the needs of the whole child and has remained steadfast in this commitment from year to year. This session provided an overview of what SEL teaching and learning look like in a school setting and why it is so important to work collaboratively with partners and families to support students.

Case Study, Gear Up in Highline: Using Student Voice to Improve SEL and Metacognitive Supports for Middle and High School Students  Roslyn Kagy, GEAR UP Program Manager

Highline Public Schools is getting results from their increased attention to social emotional learning and metacognitive skills with their middle and high school students. This session described the multiple strategies – including increased student voice, coaching by key adults, and “metacognitive month” – that Highline is deploying. The session also showed how student survey and early warning data are informing interventions.

Case Study, Creative Schools Initiative: Building Academic Mindsets and Deepening Literacy through Collaborative Arts Integration  Hillary Moore, Director of Arts Integration; Nate Herth, Creative Schools Manager; Carina del Rosario, Teaching Artist, Arts Corps

The Highline Creative Schools Initiative is an arts integration program with a goal of preparing upper elementary school students for the transition to middle school through the development of academic mindsets, four psychosocial beliefs (sense of belonging, relevance, self-efficacy and growth mindset) that have been shown to underlie academic engagement and performance. This session allowed participants to get familiar with the model and participate in activities that show how it works.

Fostering Environments for Social Emotional Learning – Youth Program Quality  Jackie Jainga Hyllseth, Chief Program Quality Officer, School’s Out Washington; John Hughes, Summer Program Coordinator, Seattle Public Schools

How do schools and organizations create environments that foster social emotional learning? This session shared how the Youth Program Quality Intervention provides a foundation for SEL growth in youth programs and classrooms.

Implicit (and Explicit) Bias and Positive Racial Identity Development  Shelby Cooley, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Community Center for Education Results

The peer relationships component of Social Emotional Learning is critical but sometimes forgotten. This talk examined empirical research on the emergence of prejudice in childhood, how racial identity is a protective factor for children-of-color and the vital role that schools have in fostering positive peer and adult interactions.

Linking Trauma-Informed Practice and a Systematic Approach to SEL  Jody McVittie, M.D., Director of Programs, Sound Discipline

Trauma-informed practice is founded on an understanding of the effects that trauma and insecure attachment have on the brains, psychology, and behavior of people. This session provided an overview of trauma-informed practice and how to create opportunities for youth to experience safety, belonging, and significance in school and out-of-school-time settings.

Getting to Measurement – Challenges and Opportunities, Panel Discussion

Moderator: Julie Petrokubi, Senior Advisor, Youth Development & Evaluation, Education Northwest


  • Neil Naftzger, Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research (AIR)
  • Roslyn Kagy, GEAR UP Program Manager, Highline Public Schools
  • Jessica Beaver, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Seattle Public Schools

What are the challenges and emerging recommendations on using data to support social emotional learning growth? As social emotional learning becomes more explicitly integrated in school and program environments, critical questions arise around who should be assessed and how assessments should be used. Student perception surveys continue to be one of the best (though often imperfect) tools for understanding how young people feel about their own skills and dispositions and the environments in which they spend their time.