Process

Process

This process will help district use conclusions from data reflection to determine next steps and create action plans, then share these with key stakeholders. This also involves providing support to school teams for data-informed action planning and communicating about implementation progress and progress towards achieving desired outcomes with their own key stakeholders. Use the Rubric to assess your current level of implementation.

1. Determine where and how to build on successes.

Based on your data reflection (see Key Activity: Data Reporting and Reflecting), identif…More

Based on your data reflection (see Key Activity: Data Reporting and Reflecting), identify SEL strategies that seem successful or promising. This may include areas where you’ve made progress on implementation or outcome goals. You’ll likely want to stick with successful strategies to maintain those gains and even explore whether they can be expanded to other areas of implementation.

When determining which strategies to continue, determine what specifically led to success and take steps to ensure that areas of strength are sustained and leveraged in the future.  For example, areas of strength may be related to effective people or teams, collaborating partners, or tools and resources that were employed.

2. Determine where and how to overcome challenges.

In areas where you experienced challenges or didn’t make expected progress on implementation or outcomes, you’ll want to examine what happened to determine how to adjust your efforts.

If you…More

In areas where you experienced challenges or didn’t make expected progress on implementation or outcomes, you’ll want to examine what happened to determine how to adjust your efforts.

If you did not make expected progress on implementation (See Key Activity: Data Reporting and Reflecting for guidance on using your Action Planning Workbook to compare how you did on the implementation rubric at the end of the year to your initial rubric goals), consider whether you will:

  • Stick with the same implementation goals and try different strategies to overcome previous obstacles. For example, your district may have intended to design and implement an SEL professional learning program for schools by developing a comprehensive menu of professional learning and providing opportunities for schools to learn from each other (achieving a score of “3” on the professional learning rubric item), but struggled to get schools to attend because sessions were held during the school day. You may want to adjust your strategy by offering a mix of afterschool and virtual professional learning opportunities.
  • Change your implementation focus. Alternatively, your district may have struggled to implement the SEL professional learning program because school teams are inundated with requests for professional learning from central office departments. You may decide that the time is not right for focusing on the SEL professional learning program until you’ve first prioritized cross-departmental collaboration (see Focus Area 1, Key Activity: Collaboration). Your district may then return to focus on an SEL professional learning program when stakeholders seem ready for it.

Sometimes circumstances change within a district from the start to the end of a year, and what seemed achievable in the fall may not seem sensible the following spring. This may be due to a change in senior leadership, budget cuts, or departmental restructuring. When this is the case, the district should acknowledge this change in circumstance, describe what they learned from their efforts, and determine whether they need to shift focus or engage in other key activities that would better prepare the district to make progress on SEL implementation.

If’ you did make progress on your implementation goals, but implementation did not lead to expected outcomes, consider whether:

  • Your outcomes goals were aligned to your implementation goals. This may be a good time to revisit your logic model (See Focus Area 1, Key Activity: Shared Vision and Plan) and determine whether you need additional or different inputs or activities to achieve your intended outcomes. For example, if your outcome goal was to increase staff capacity and confidence in SEL implementation, you may need to not only design and implement a professional learning program (See Focus Area 2, Key Activity: Professional Learning), but also consider adopting SEL standards (Focus Area 3, Key Activity: SEL Standards) and/or evidence-based programs (Key Activity: Evidence-Based Programs and Practices) that help scaffold and structure how school staff implement SEL.
  • Your outcome goals were realistic. Sometimes your district may have implemented according to plan and made great progress but still fell short of ambitious outcome goals. You may want to extend your timeline for achieving the goal, or revise the goal to reflect a more realistic one-year outcome.

3. Share progress and learnings with stakeholders.

By this point, your district has completed a year-long Plan-Do-Study-Act continuous improvement cycle, which began when you identified your goals and strategies for the year (PLAN); executed your p…More

By this point, your district has completed a year-long Plan-Do-Study-Act continuous improvement cycle, which began when you identified your goals and strategies for the year (PLAN); executed your plan and documented implementation throughout the year (DO); compiled and reflected on data (STUDY); and made adjustments to next year’s plan based on what you’ve learned (ACT).

Now it’s time to tell stakeholders what you’ve done and what you’ve learned. Districts may approach sharing with stakeholders in a variety of ways, including through a brief annual report or through a public presentation. The specific approach you take depends on your intended audience, their level of engagement, and how you think they will best engage with the information.

Regardless of approach, here are a few recommended areas to consider including in a report to stakeholders:

  • Overview of SEL, history of commitment made by district
  • Progress made to date in the broader effort
  • Overview of implementation and outcome goals for the most recent year
  • Introduction of the types of data collected, analyzed, and reported
  • Summary of implementation and outcome data
  • Key learnings, conclusions, and next steps

Here are examples of districts’ reports to stakeholders:

Here are summaries of learnings across CASEL’s Collaborating Districts Initiative:

4. Support school teams in using data to action plan and communicate progress with their own key stakeholders.

In addition to districtwide action planning and communications, it’s important to engage school teams in a similar process of using what they’ve learned this past year to inform next steps. You may…More

In addition to districtwide action planning and communications, it’s important to engage school teams in a similar process of using what they’ve learned this past year to inform next steps. You may want to bring school leaders or teams together to share their learnings, collaboratively make meaning of their data and trends, and discuss what they should do next.

You can also support schools in identifying their own key stakeholders and crafting a plan for communicating their SEL progress. Here’s a communication planning tool from the CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL that may be helpful.

5. Launch a new year-long continuous improvement cycle for SEL.

Implementing SEL districtwide is not a one-time process. As one year-long cycle of continuous improvement comes to a close, another is launched to continuously iterate and built on your efforts. Yo…More

Implementing SEL districtwide is not a one-time process. As one year-long cycle of continuous improvement comes to a close, another is launched to continuously iterate and built on your efforts. Your approach to implementation throughout this coming year should be informed and influenced by the successes, challenges, and learnings of the previous year.

To launch a new continuous improvement cycle, you’ll begin with goal-setting and planning (see Focus Area 1, Key Activity: Shared Vision and Plan, and Focus Area 4, Key Activity: Planning for Improvement). What will be different this time around is that your district will have captured and planned around learnings from the previous year.

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