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How to Get Districtwide Buy-In for Social-Emotional Learning

It’s no secret that educators and school staff are feeling unprecedented levels of stress and burnout these days. While incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula for students is important, it’s just as crucial to ensure the social and emotional needs of your district’s educators and staff are being met. When everyone in the school community — from administrators to staff to parents to students — knows SEL can benefit them and that it can be added to the curriculum without disrupting existing lesson plans and schedules, districtwide buy-in is achievable.

Social-Emotional Learning as a Tool

When SEL is implemented into teachers’ lesson plans, students can learn the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in and out of the classroom. Navigate360’s social-emotional learning solutions include SEL for Students, SEL for Staff and SEL for Parents —all of which are updated to stay relevant to changing times and cultures. Benefits of SEL for Students include:

  • Improved behavioral outcomes
  • Increased attendance rates
  • Lower suspension rates
  • Greater social and emotional competency

Navigate360’s SEL for Staff aligns with students’ SEL lessons while empowering educators and staff with resources to support their own mental health and professional development. The curriculum also prepares teachers to address student behavioral issues and helps them teach character-building and social-emotional topics they may not be trained on.

Navigate360’s SEL for Parents delivers web-based and mobile lessons that equip parents to have informed conversations with their children about today’s toughest challenges. Parents and guardians receive lessons that reinforce what their students learn in Navigate360 SEL for Students.

Achieving Buy-In at the District Level

Getting districtwide buy-in is possible when teachers and staff members know that SEL can benefit their own learning, culture and climate while making their jobs easier.

Helping Staff Focus on Students & Themselves

Showing school staff that the district is invested in their own social-emotional and mental wellness is perhaps the most important factor for buy-in. Helping teachers, office staff, cafeteria workers, custodial staff and all the other adults working in schools foster healthy social-emotional and mental health skills ensures everyone is happier, healthier and more prepared to be the positive guides students need. Studies show that happier teachers, for example, are more likely to stay in their profession and provide higher-quality education to their students.

Seamlessly Implementing SEL into Educators’ Schedules

Dr. Crystal Ladwig, educator, writer and speaker who specializes in working with children with emotional/behavioral disorders and vice president of curriculum for mental health & wellness at Navigate360, says we “need to make sure that we’re equipping teachers with the skills they need to reinforce…and talk about this content throughout the school day so it’s not taking time out of their school day. Instead, it’s built within their school day as an instructional tool.”

Because no two schools in any given district will serve the same communities or the same needs, flexibility is key to ensuring school staff members feel encouraged and empowered to buy in. Navigate360’s SEL is highly customizable to meet the needs of school districts large and small.

Helping Teachers Respond to Behavioral Issues in the Moment

Teachers are always looking for effective ways to address disruptive student behaviors. Navigate360’s SEL trains teachers to respond to challenging behaviors in the classroom and correct behavioral issues in the moment using the following:

  • Restorative practices
  • “Cozy” or “calm down” corners in the classroom
  • A “redirection room” for reflection and SEL

Find a full list of ideas and best practices to address challenging student behaviors here.

Getting Parents’ Buy-In for SEL

Of course, SEL isn’t contained to a school campus. Parents also play an important role in a child’s social-emotional learning, so getting them involved is crucial to achieving districtwide buy-in. Schools should keep parents engaged with their SEL curricula with strategies like regular, two-way communication, parent-aligned SEL courses, SEL-aligned volunteer opportunities and workshops and parent-teacher committees and school climate surveys. Navigate360’s SEL for Parents solution contains even more resources to equip parents to take an active role in their children’s social-emotional development.

Adapting to an Ever-Changing Culture

Staying relevant is key to keeping both students and staff engaged with SEL curricula. Navigate360 is constantly refreshing and updating course content in order to best align with today’s current issues, such as:

  • Bullying prevention
  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Effective communication
  • Growth mindset
  • Self-management

Learn More About Navigate360 SEL

Implementing SEL curricula and enabling students to reach their full potential in the classroom and beyond only works when schools buy in, and for that to happen, staff must be confident that the school district is giving them the resources and support they need. Learn more about Navigate360 SEL for your district here.

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