Social and Emotional Learning Skills

The Washoe County School District of Nevada strives to raise its high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. The district implemented a strategic plan in 2010 to help reach this goal. Teaching soft skills is one of the measures the new plan will implement. Until recently, it has been difficult to gauge how skills such as decision making affect academic success including graduation rates.

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, states are required to include at least one measure other than test scores in their accountability systems. Eight urban districts, including Washoe County, have committed to implementing comprehensive social-emotional learning practices for students in elementary, middle, and high schools allowing researchers from the American Institutes for Research to measure their results. Each district has adapted administrative policies to integrate the new practices. Federal grants and assistance from CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, will support teachers, students, and administrators in working together to develop data that could change how social and emotional skills are implemented in classrooms across the country.

For more details visit http://www.casel.org/

By: Alexandria Alo
Digital Content and Art Project Manager