Ready News: November 3, 2020

Early Lessons from Schools and Out-of-School Time Programs Implementing Social and Emotional Learning

A new report from the RAND Corporation presents findings from the first two years of the Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, a multiyear Wallace-supported effort exploring whether and how children can benefit from partnerships between schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs focused on building social and emotional skills. Coming at a time when interest in social and emotional learning (SEL) is outstripping empirical guidance about how to carry out programs and practices, the report covers the early work of six communities that have gone about incorporating SEL programs and practices into the school and OST parts of the day: Boston, Dallas, Denver, Palm Beach County in Florida, Tacoma, and Tulsa.

The findings are based on a trove of data-approximately 5,000 completed surveys of school and OST staff members, 850 interviews, and observations of more than 3,000 instructional and non-instructional activities in schools and OST programs-making this the most comprehensive study of SEL implementation to date.

The report is designed to be useful to those carrying out SEL instruction in schools, out-of-school-time programs, or both.

Among the early lessons for those considering SEL efforts are:

  • Focus on developing a set of social-emotional skills of both students and adults.
  • Define those skills and plan the needed supports from school districts and OST intermediary organizations.
  • Develop a common language for SEL that can build shared understanding of the terminology among school and OST staffers.
  • Set aside staff time for clear and frequent communication
  • Document and formalize SEL routines and practices, such as protected time for SEL in the school/OST schedule, so they can survive staff turnover.

Learn more.

Navigating COVID-19: New Resources from Every Hour Counts

Every Hour Counts has developed an updated COVID-19 Resource Guide, a hub for new, ready-to-implement resources that reflect the impact of Every Hour Counts’s network of collective voices and systems. The guide features more than 70 resources, including new back-to-school and virtual learning tools, created by organizations from the Every Hour Counts network and beyond, to help afterschool intermediaries, communities, providers, funders, educators, families, and caregivers ensure that young people are set up for success this school year and beyond. The guide includes the recent brief from the Forum’s Children’s Cabinets Networks, CHILDCARE AND COVID-19: How States and Children’s Cabinets are Funding Near-Term Capacity and Planning for Long-Term Needs. 

Explore the resources.


Finding a Way Forward: Young People’s Experiences Navigating the World of Work

A new resource from the America’s Promise Alliance presents findings from a qualitative study that explores specific questions about work and careers from the perspectives of 65 young adult participants in five career pathways programs across the country.

Grounded in the key components of the YES Project’s “Ready, Connected, Supported” framework, Finding a Way Forward: Young People’s Experiences Navigating the World of Work provides a glimpse into young people’s perceptions of their career journeys amidst today’s changing employment landscape-specifically those young people who represent groups often excluded from policy conversations: young people of color, those whose families have immigrated to the United States in search of new opportunities, and those from economically disadvantaged and working-class backgrounds. By elevating young people’s perspectives, this report aims to expand understanding of the most important components of early career development in ways that can inform youth-centered research, policy, and practice.

Learn more.


What We Know about Summer Programs and Virtual Learning: Recap and Resources

Can large, urban school districts successfully run high-quality summer learning programs? If so, how? And what impact can these programs have on students? And how are these programs working in a time of COVID and social distancing?

The Wallace Foundation, the RAND Corporation, and five urban school districts explored the first three questions as part of the National Summer Learning Project, a six-year effort to provide voluntary, district-led summer programs that offer a mix of academic instruction and enrichment and test whether they help boost students’ success in school.

After this recent summer like no other, the Forum’s President & CEO Karen Pittman spoke with Catherine Augustine from the RAND Corporation and Melanie Claxton with Pittsburgh Public Schools, one of the five communities involved in the project, to explore their engagement with the study, the results and lessons learned, and how Pittsburgh and other districts have adapted to new forms of virtual educational engagement.

Click here for a recap, interactive transcript, and short segments from each portion of the session.


Lessons in Adolescence Podcast Series

Early adolescence is an extraordinary opportunity for long-lasting, positive learning and development, if approached at the right time and in the right way. The great challenge is making sure the middle school experience is in sync with the needs and interests of the middle schoolers who attend them. Lessons in Adolescence, a new podcast series by the University of Virginia’s Youth-Nex Center, offers actionable insights about young adolescent learning and development from in-school and out-of-school educators, researchers and developmental scientists, thought leaders, and other caring adults. Each episode focuses on a specific, timely and relevant topic, encouraging listeners to better understand the developmental needs of young adolescents and unleash the full potential of the middle school years.

The Lessons in Adolescence podcast is a production of Remaking Middle School, an initiative that seeks to transform the learning and development experience for young adolescents in the middle school years. Remaking Middle School brings together good educational practice (in school and out of school) with the latest developmental science.

Listen now.