Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

School Culture / Climate



Student CIrcle

Students Learn Leadership, Soft Skills with Genius Hours

Summary:  This article talks about the use of “Genius Hours” as a way to personalize learning and develop a sense of community in the classroom.  Students have the opportunity to come up with creative questions and then answer that question through project-based learning.

Source:  Amelia Harper, Education DIVE, September 6, 2017

Categories:  Student-Centered Learning, Classroom Practice, Student Achievement, School Culture/Climate



How Ending Behavior Rewards Helped One School Focus on Student Motivation and Character

Summary:  This article focuses on the topic of extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation.  Several schools are used as examples where the rewards system was changed to an intrinsic system and the resulting benefits that this provided to the schools in terms of character education.

Source:  Linda Flanagan, KQED News, August 29, 2017

Categories:  Character Education, Motivation, Core Values, School Culture/Climate



Student Achievement Depends Upon Faculty Relationships and Trusted Leaders

Summary:  This article points out the importance of relationships and trust as a necessary attribute for school leaders.  Drawing on an article by Steven Covey, the writers emphasize the importance of trust for leaders to be effective.

Source: Jill Berkowitz and Ann Myers, Education Week, August 20, 2017

Categories:  Leadership Qualities, Positive Relationships, Core Values, School Culture/Climate



Districts Start School Year With Thoughts on How to Handle Charlottesville Protests

Summary:  This article provides some resources and ideas for dealing with the Charlottesville protests and other controversial subjects in the classroom.  Experts recommend administrators provide support and PD to teachers on addressing difficult subjects.

Source:  Linda Jacobson, Education DIVE, August 17, 2017

Categories:  Education Equity, Professional Development, Core Values, Positive Relationships, School Culture/Climate



Relationships Matter More Than Rules

Summary:  This article focuses on the importance of building positive relationships in a classroom in order to transform it into a community.  The author suggests several strategies for starting the school year by building strong relationships.

Source:  Rebecca Alber, Edutopia, August 16, 2017

Categories:  Positive Relationships, Core Values, Classroom Practice, Codes of Conduct, School Culture/Climate



Social Justice Reading List as a Resource for Teachers

Summary:  The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) has created a list of resources called the “Social Justice Book List.”  This list is available to teachers as a aide to starting conversations and search for solutions in response to the recent social unrest in our country.

Source:  Laura Beth Ellis, NNSTOY, August 17, 2017

Categories:  Educational Equity, Social Justice, Core Values, SEL Basics, School Culture/Climate




State Board Issues Guidelines for Social and Emotional Education …

Summary:  This article reports on the NJ State Board adopting guidelines for Social and Emotional Learning and includes an interview with Maurice Elias who made a presentation in support of SEL and the new guidelines.

Source:  John Mooney, NJSpotlight, August 14, 2017

Categories:  SEL Basics, School Culture/Climate, Core Values, Codes of Conduct




Minnesota Issues Best Practice Guide for Serving Transgender Students in Public Schools

Summary:  Minnesota’s School Safety Technical Assistance Council’s “Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” is not intended to be a mandate, but is more of a guide for educators in issues related to transgender students.

Source:  Linda Jacobsen, Education DIVE, August 10, 2017

Categories:  LGBTQ Issues, Educational Equity, School Culture/Climate, SEL Basics



Lady Liberty

Teaching in a World Filled With Fear

Summary: This article is a commentary about the effect of world issues on students and the need for schools to provide a nurturing culture and climate to allay our students’ fears.  This article also addresses the topic of new immigrants and the reality that for them, school may no longer feel safe.

Source:  Precious Crabtree, Education Week, August 9, 2017

Categories:  School Culture/Climate, Educational Equity, SEL Basics, Positive Relationships




What a Photograph of a Tree Can Teach Leaders About Change

Summary:  This article uses a tree metaphor to address the change process in education.  Change is almost always a difficult proposition that is often associated with loss.  The  authors show that when leaders are sensitive to various factions affected by the potential change, they can address those concerns and alleviate some of the fear and hesitation that goes along with any change process.

Source:  Jill Berkowitz and Ann Myers, Education Week, August 1, 2017

Categories:  Leadership Qualities, School Culture/Climate, SEL Basics