Executive Summary for March 8, 2016, Board Meeting:

“In the Education Services weekly of Friday, February 26, 2016, we presented a draft charge and parameters for a Distributed Counseling Committee.  Staff strongly endorses the concepts and plan presented, as it would ideally lead to identical, or at least closely similar, models at each school.  That said, developing the model without first clarifying the social-emotional competencies needed to fully implement the School Counseling Logic Model (2014) and developing social-emotional learning standards for PreK-12 may be putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

Recalling that Strategic Plan Initiative B3 is to “Improve system of counseling supports to prepare all students for academic, social-emotional, and post-secondary success,” we know much excellent work has been done in this regard based on the logic model counselors presented in 2014.  We all know, however, that strategic plan survey data and other quantitative and qualitative data have indicated improvements can still be made.  Moreover, Strategic Plan Action statement B3.1 states, “Implement a common guidance curriculum and evaluate its effectiveness to improve the quality and consistency of services with respect to academic advising, social-emotional support, and post-secondary planning.”  Social-emotional learning (SEL) provides the foundation for maintaining a healthy balance between the many physical and psychological pursuits a person will encounter over the course of their life.  Therefore, a unified approach to addressing the social-emotional learning needs of students to ensure the development of a common language, learning targets, and grade level competencies is proposed.

While all realize the importance of social-emotional learning, there still is not a coherent curriculum framework or set of learning targets for social-emotional learning PreK-12.  We think that these should be fully articulated by grade level and then we should develop a model to assure the curriculum is taught using a unified approach.  The staff will present a systemic overview of the needs and planning around the intersecting issues of wellness, mental health, coordinated school health model, and social-emotional learning.  This work will lead to a recommendation for a PreK-12 SEL curriculum for the Board’s consideration.”