The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the University of Kansas Research Collaboration are partnering to offer the Social-Emotional Learning for All (SEL for All) project. Missouri districts are invited to apply to receive on-site professional development to enhance educators’ capacity to support students’ social-emotional learning. SEL for All articulates the instructional practices and implementation elements necessary to provide instruction on the research-based, teachable, transferable skills under three domains: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive. The project helps to equip all students with competencies they need to become career-equipped, lifelong learners who are socially and emotionally engaged.

Participating districts will receive coaching and training to systematically embed intra- and interpersonal competency development into core content (addressing standards and competencies simultaneously) with consistent, meaningful, research-backed methods.

The project is not a separate initiative, standalone course/curriculum, or add-on; rather it aims to provide coaching, resources, and other supports to help schools build a sustainable culture of social-emotional learning (and as such, can be easily integrated with other initiatives/priorities).

The project emphasizes three elements for success:

  • Collaboration between all stakeholders (e.g., administrators, general and special educators, counselors, service providers, families, community, etc.)

  • Multi-tiered instruction and interventions

  • Effective use of data to inform decision making at multiple levels

Through both face-to-face and virtual supports, SEL for All provides evidence-based research on the competencies, as well as coaching and support for schools to collaboratively create plans; identify, collect, and analyze relevant data; assess impact; and make adjustments to instruction as they embed competency development in their general education curriculum. Participating schools have noted a number of positive impacts of the program, including students’ increased awareness and understanding of the competencies, students’ and teachers’ increased acknowledgement of the importance of the competencies for success in college and careers, and students’ increased application of and proficiency in the competencies.

A brief summary of the overall project trajectory is provided below:

  • District & building leadership identify one building at each level (elementary, middle, and high school) to participate in the project.

  • Schools receive on-site PD and training several times throughout the year.

  • Educators understand that competencies can be taught over time in general education curriculum, as well as applied and reinforced across contexts (i.e., office, extracurricular activities, etc.), and develop strategies for doing so.

  • All school staff embed competency instruction into their course content or educational context, including providing instruction, facilitating students' practice with feedback, and building in opportunities for students to reflect on their efforts.

  • Schools collect and analyze student data sources (e.g., formative assessment data, homework submission, attendance, etc.) to determine the impact of instruction and potential adjustments to make, and follow through with identified adjustments.

  • Communicate with families about students’ competency development (i.e., importance, ways to support development, etc.).

  • Celebrate and share accomplishments with stakeholders (e.g., district leadership, colleagues, students, families, community).