We work with school districts, community-based organizations, and statewide leaders to institute practices and policies that foster social-emotional learning opportunities for children and youth through their school day, after school, and summer programming.
Social-Emotional Learning – Our Approach
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is foundational to expanded learning programs, and is essential for children’s success in school and beyond. School districts are increasingly recognizing that SEL promotes student achievement, student engagement, and a positive school climate and culture. We ensure that the school day and expanded learning programs are effective and authentic partners around their shared goals for SEL and children’s overall success.
Our goal: For all children to have equitable access to a consistently positive learning environment from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year-round.
What is social-emotional learning?
As defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL is a process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. With our partners, PCY has defined specific outcomes that expanded learning programs’ high quality youth development practices are best able to support.
Professional Learning Community
Since 2015, PCY has convened school districts from across California in a professional learning community to plan and implement strategies to improve and better coordinate SEL practices. These districts are on the vanguard of bridging SEL delivery across the school day and expanded learning through breaking down silos, training school and expanded learning staff, and gathering momentum in their communities for better, more consistent SEL practices. Through our work with these districts, we are identifying promising practices that can be sustained, shared, and scaled elsewhere. American Institutes for Research evaluated the professional learning community from January 2017 to December 2018. See their results.
2018-19 Professional Learning Community Districts:
Los Angeles Unified School District
Oakland Unified School District
Sacramento City Unified School District
San Francisco Unified School District
San Leandro Unified School District
Santa Ana Unified School District
Visalia Unified School District
Based on our experience working directly with districts and their community partners, PCY advises statewide decision-makers about the systems and policies that best support students’ SEL development. We convene stakeholders from across the state – including representatives from the school day, expanded learning, technical assistance, advocacy, and research institutions – to gather input and develop recommendations for the California Department of Education. These recommendations and positions are amplified through policy briefs, blogs, and reports developed collaboratively with our partners. PCY also sits on California’s Collaborating States Initiative planning team, a national effort by CASEL to integrate SEL practices and standards with state education policy.
Tools & Resources
Based on the experiences of the districts we work with, PCY has developed materials to jump-start a shared understanding and collaborative conversations:
Expanded Learning 360°/365
PCY is a member of Expanded Learning 360°/365, a statewide initiative to help school districts and their expanded learning partners improve and better align their SEL strategies. For more information, visit www.expandedlearning360-365.com.