Lancaster School District is committed to meeting the needs of the whole child, including every student’s social-emotional learning skills. Social emotional learning (SEL) teaches students to gain confidence, set goals, make better decisions, collaborate with others in work and play, and navigate the world more effectively. These skills are essential to be successful in the school environment as well as important to thrive later in the work environment. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to bring awareness to evidence-based SEL and promote these practices and initiatives.
CASEL recognizes Second Step as an evidence-based social-emotional learning curriculum. Lessons are taught weekly in classrooms throughout the district. Second Step addresses building empathy, emotion recognition and management, problem solving, impulse control, calming down, communication skills, and assertiveness. Lessons involve engaging short videos, skills building exercises and discussion topics. There is a different set of lessons for each grade level from TK-8th grade.
Kelso’s Choice is another SEL program promoted in Lancaster School District. It is a conflict resolution curriculum that is taught by the school counselors through classroom lessons in the elementary schools. Kelso is a green frog that teaches students the difference between big and small problems. Big problems are managed by adults while small problems are handled by the students. For small problems, students are encouraged to use one of nine different conflict resolution solutions such as wait and cool off, ignore it, talk it out, tell them to stop, and others.
In order to monitor that our kindergarten through 6th grade students are learning the SEL skills promoted through Second Step and Kelso’s Choice, social-emotional assessments created by SELweb will be piloted in four elementary schools (Monte Vista Elementary, Sunnydale Elementary, Sierra Elementary, and Lincoln Elementary). The assessment will be administered in the Fall, then again in the Spring to monitor growth. The assessment directly assesses skills in the areas of Emotional Recognition, Social Perspective-Taking, Social Problem-Solving, and Self Control. The results of these assessments will inform school staff about areas of need school-wide as well as skills that need to be reinforced at a classroom level and in small groups.
The assessment will take about 30 minutes and will be completed on the students’ chromebook. The assessment is a direct assessment of SEL skills, so it provides tasks and scenarios for the students to complete to demonstrate their proficiency in the areas measured.
SELweb is in the process of completing a middle school field trial assessment through Rush University and Lancaster School District has been chosen to participate in this opportunity. Students at Piute Middle School will complete a 30-40 minute assessment designed to measure social and emotional competencies that are important to student success in school, the workplace, and in life. This tool is designed to measure student self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The assessment will be administered in the Fall, then again in the Spring to monitor growth.
SELweb Middle School uses three kinds of questions: factual questions, designed to assess student knowledge about social and emotional concepts; vignettes, which we call situational judgment tasks, designed to assess how student apply their knowledge to hypothetical situations; and self-report survey questions, designed to measure children's perceptions of their competencies. Sample items are below, with asterisks next to hypothesized "correct" responses.
Here is a sample factual item:
Different experiences cause different emotions or feelings. Read each experience and choose the feeling that someone would be most likely to feel.
Really wanting something, but not being able to have it
Here is a sample situational judgment task item:
Imagine you and a classmate get into a disagreement about how to do a group project. You know you are right and your classmate is wrong.
You could do many things in this situation. Which of the following actions would help solve the problem? (Select all that apply)
__Just let it go. You don’t always have to be right.*
__Let your classmate know all the reasons they are wrong.
__Offer evidence of why you think what you think.*
__Give your classmate a look that tells them they should stop.
__Summarize your classmate’s perspective calmly and describe how yours is different.*
__Suggest to your classmate that you should “agree to disagree.”*
__After class, let them know how mad they made you in class.
Here is a sample self-report item:
I know how to make myself feel better when I am upset
__Once in awhile
__Almost all of the time
Websites and Video Resources
Please refer to the websites and short videos below for more information about Second Step SEL curriculum, Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Program, and the SELweb K-6 assessments. If you have questions, please contact Trish Wilson, Coordinator of Climate, Culture, and Counselors at 661-723-0351 ext. 467.
For a brief Overview of SELweb, please refer to this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5Op7q-deRI&t=1s
You can view the following video to learn about the SELweb Early Elementary assessment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tMfl0zQZXk
For information about a direct assessment in comparison to a teacher survey or self-survey, refer to this video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDjOZmZiY_U
For information regarding what SELweb asseses and why, watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS_ajDyxTT0