Social Emotional Learning as a Key Component in Response to COVID-19

In light of the Pandemic, many school leaders and educators are keenly and understandably focused on “getting the academics right” with on-line learning, socially distanced, etc.  With their classrooms, student relationships, and support systems upended by closures, social-emotional learning may not have been a priority.

Educators across the country are grappling with an unprecedented set of circumstances as they prepare to welcome students and adults back to school. We face the layered impact of school closures (e.g., loss of school-based relationships, routines, and learning); COVID-19 (e.g., on health, isolation, stress, and trauma); economic crisis (e.g., unemployment, impact on school budgets), and persistent, pernicious racial inequities exacerbated by the pandemic and amplified by the nationwide mobilization for racial justice.

As a result, all of our students, families, educators, and community partners have been affected in some way. Some have missed major milestones with their friends and family members. Others have experienced enormous loss—of loved ones, of jobs, of their health and physical or psychological safety, or trust in their social institutions. The impact of these challenges is not equal and further reveals the deep connections of the racial and class inequities in our education system to the persistent disparities in the health, economic, and criminal justice systems and every facet of our society.

MS Department of Education will be requiring schools to have a Social Emotional Plan developed and implemented in the very near future.  NMEC is offering a two-day Virtual/ or On-site facilitation with objectives for participants to be able to strategically and collaboratively develop and plan implementation of a school-wide Social Emotional Learning Action Plan focusing on supporting staff and students.  During the two-day learning, facilitators will guide school teams to write/ develop/ and plan implementation for Social Emotional Learning that will support students, their families, as well as the school staff.

At the heart of this complex process is attending to the academic, social and emotional development; physical and mental health; cognitive development; and overall well-being of all students and adults in holistic ways that do not put these concerns in competition with one another. Social-Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Each school may register a Team of up to 8 participants (District leadership, School Administrator, counselor, teachers, parent leader, community leader, after school partner, community mental health) to develop your SEL Plan for safe, supportive, and equitable environments that provide opportunities for social emotional learning that greatly impacts academic learning.

If you are interested in this two-day professional development with half-day follow-up training as an entire district or as a team with other districts, please contact Susan Scott, sscott@olemiss.edu.

 

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