Reflect on Progress Toward Annual SEL Goals

Reflect on Progress Toward Annual SEL Goals

Reflecting on actionable data helps schools and districts understand what is working well with SEL implementation and what needs to change.

Below you’ll find an overview of: WHAT high-quality implementation looks like, WHY it’s important, WHEN to engage in this key activity, and WHO to involve. Also see the PROCESS page for step-by-step guidance on how to engage in the work, and the RESOURCES page for additional tools to support your efforts.

What does it mean to report data and reflect on results?


Reporting data means compiling and making implementation and outcome data actionable to district and school stakeholders. Data reflection involves comparing the outcomes that were achieved to what was expected to occur when plans were made, as well as reflecting on successes and challenges that were encountered during implementation. Reporting and reflecting on data occurs during the STUDY phase of the Plan-Do-Study-Act continuous improvement cycle (read more about PDSA Cycles in Key Activity: Planning for Improvement).

Strong district data reporting and reflection practices for SEL continuous improvement involve:

Compiling implementation and outcome data and making this information available to district and school teams for data reflection.

When possible, disaggregating data by prioritized student groups to examine and address systemic root causes of disparities.

Using established norms that promote a safe environment for reflecting on data and a structured protocol to guide reflection.

Engaging students in scaffolded data reflection to elevate student voice and agency.

Providing ongoing support that empowers school teams to reflect on SEL data for continuous improvement.

Providing structured opportunities for schools to share and learn from each other (e.g., cross-site professional learning communities).

Use the Rubric to assess your data reporting and reflection practices.

Why does my district need to report data and reflect on results?


When district and school teams access and reflect on actionable data, they gain an understanding of what is working well with SEL implementation and what needs to change. This helps them to problem- solve and take action to ensure that SEL implementation efforts translate into expected outcomes. Learning from data in this way and using this information to improve practice is central to continuous improvement and supports high-quality SEL implementation. Reporting data, including key outcomes achieved from SEL implementation, also helps ensure that successes are shared with district leadership and other key decision-makers to promote continued sustainability of SEL efforts.

When should my district report data and reflect on results?


CASEL recommends that your district’s SEL team reflect on data for SEL continuous improvement throughout the year. Ideally, the district SEL team will discuss implementation data at every meeting (see Key Activity: Documenting Implementation and Outcomes) to make sure plans are on track.

While these quick data reviews occur throughout the year, you’ll also want to plan for deeper data reflection to help the district draw conclusions and make strategic decisions.

This type of data reflection typically requires its own dedicated meeting, as well as substantial preparation of data in advance and thoughtful facilitation of discussion (see the PROCESS section for more). CASEL recommends that this type of deeper reflection occurs at least twice in a school year:

  • At least one mid-year data reflection session to check in on progress toward milestones, and to determine if adjustments to implementation strategies are needed to reach end-of-year goals.
  • At least one end-of-year reflection meeting, held in the last few months of the academic year or the start of the summer (e.g., June or July), when summative conclusions can be made about the success or failure of the implementation strategies employed.

Who needs to be involved in reporting data and reflecting on results?


Staff who oversee SEL data collection and management are necessary to ensure that relevant data are compiled in an easy-to-use format and accessible to district and school teams to review.  Systems and structures for sharing data efficiently, such as data dashboards, make it much easier to get data to district and school teams. Developing and maintaining such structures may require additional district staff, such as IT or data teams.

You will also need to consider who should participate in the data-reflection process. In most cases, different stakeholders will be involved at different times. District SEL team members should already be involved in reviewing data as a regular part of all team meetings. At an end-of-year data reflection meeting, you may want to bring in a wider range of stakeholders in addition to the district SEL team, including:

  • Key staff members from departments that lead SEL work across the district
  • Members of the district Research and Evaluation department
  • School leadership and their supervisors
  • Community partners that help support SEL in the district
  • Student representation, especially when student-level data are being reviewed
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