Committee for Children Blog
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Everything You Need to Know About ESSA: Part 1 of 3

The bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces the outdated No Child Left Behind Act, includes flexible funding that can be used for SEL and prevention programs. However, the flexibility given to each state could put some programs at risk. This first blog post in a series of three explains key provisions in the bill and how it impacts our work.

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How and Why Social Skills Instruction Fits With Your Strategic Plan

Blogger Kim Gulbrandson posts the second part in a series of three on why SEL is needed and how to incorporate it within strategic plans. To achieve outcomes like “graduate every student,” and “ensure all students are college- and career-ready,” districts must teach students specific skills, give them opportunities to practice those skills, and reinforce through ongoing social-emotional skills instruction. 

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A Closer Look at Strategic Plans: Laying the Foundation for Student Success

After talking with district administrators around the nation and reviewing strategic plans from rural, urban, and suburban districts across 26 states, our blogger Kim Gulbrandson spotted some trends: all plans referenced “student success” as a goal; one-fourth included SEL elements as part of the mission; of those that included SEL, personal responsibility was emphasized; few plans included action steps.

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second step, principal toolkit, K-5, SEL, back to school, back to school basics
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It’s Here! The Amazing Principal Toolkit

How can you tell if an SEL curriculum is going to be successful? Look at the principal! Our new Second Step Principal Toolkit was developed due to this insight and gives school leaders ready-made resources such as meeting agendas, activities, and handouts for staff orientation, monthly staff kick-off meetings, and weekly staff meetings. Blogger Kim Gulbrandson reviews.

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Expand Your Bullying Prevention Toolkit with Social-Emotional Learning

Every year schools and communities across the country unite in their bullying prevention efforts during the month of October for National Bullying Prevention Month. Does this mean that if you focus on bullying prevention for one month you’re done? Not at all! This month is meant to jump-start continued efforts to prevent bullying. And social-emotional learning can make a great addition to the toolkit that helps you do this.… Read More


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Three Misperceptions about SEL

The potential inclusion of an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that incorporates both a definition and a specified funding source for social-emotional learning (SEL) has me thinking about SEL often. Foremost in my mind is how to clear up misconceptions about what SEL really is. Talking with senatorial staff on the Hill, friends, and family members about the hopes for federal legislation changes and the importance of SEL for social and academic success both in school and in life, I learned that SEL is not widely understood.… Read More