HomepageISTEEdSurge
Skip to content
ascd logo

Log in to Witsby: ASCD’s Next-Generation Professional Learning and Credentialing Platform
Join ASCD
October 1, 2020
Vol. 78
No. 2

Whole Child Spotlight: Why Social-Emotional Supports Are More Important Than Ever

author avatar

    premium resources logo

    Premium Resource

    Social-emotional learningSchool Culture
    Whole Child Spotlight: Why Social-Emotional Supports Are More Important Than Ever thumbnail
      One thing is certain during these unusual times: More of us, and to a certain extent all of us, are working in learning environments that are coping with the effects of trauma. What makes this period unique in this regard is the ubiquitousness of the trauma. The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone in education to varying degrees, from students and teachers to principals, education support professionals, counselors, school nurses, custodians, and of course families. It is critical therefore for schools to focus on creating protective and supportive factors to help alleviate the effects of this pervasive trauma.
      ASCD's Whole Child approach aims to help schools design learning environments around 5 key foundational supports, including those ensuring health, safety, and support. Using ASCD's organizational framework, many districts and schools that are part of the Whole Child Network began this school year by focusing on these supports and by emphasizing and responding to social-emotional needs. Time was dedicated to reestablishing relationships, connectedness, and a sense of belonging across classes. Such supports are key to helping students—and school communities as a whole—cope with trauma and mitigate its effects on learning and well-being. Along with measures to keep educators and students safe, these supports will be more important than ever throughout this school year.
      Sean Slade, ASCD Sr. Director, Global Outreach

      Key Whole Child Indicators Related to Trauma-Responsive Schools

      • Our school culture supports and reinforces the health and well-being of each student (Healthy, No. 1).

      • Our school addresses the health and well-being of each staff member (Healthy, No. 5).

      • Our school collaborates with parents and the local community to promote the health and well-being of each student. (Healthy, No. 6).

      • Our school integrates health and well-being into the school's ongoing activities, professional development, curriculum, and assessment practices (Healthy, No. 7).

      • Our physical, emotional, academic, and social school climate is safe, friendly, and student-centered (Safe, No. 3).

      • Our students feel valued, respected, and cared for and are motivated to learn (Safe, No 4).

      • Our school provides our students, staff, and family members with regular opportunities for learning and support in teaching students how to manage their own behavior, and reinforcing expectations, rules and routines (Safe, No. 6).

      • Our school teaches, models, and provides opportunities to practice social-emotional skills, including effective listening, conflict resolution, problem solving, personal reflection and responsibility, and ethical decision making (Safe, No. 7).

      • Our school climate, curriculum, and instruction reflect both high expectations and an understanding of child and adolescent growth and development (Safe, No. 9).

      • Our school expects and prepares students to assume age-appropriate responsibility for learning through effective decision making, goal setting, and time management (Engaged, No. 9).

      • Each student has access to school counselors and other structured academic, social, and emotional support systems. (Supported, No. 4).

      • Our school staff understands and makes curricular, instructional, and school improvement decision based on child and adolescent development and student performance information (Supported, No. 5).

      • Our school personnel welcome and include all families as partners in their children's education and significant members of the school community (Supported, No. 6).

      Learn more about the Whole Child school indicators

      Sean Slade is an education leader, speaker, and author, with nearly three decades of experience in education in the U.S. and globally. He serves as Head of BTS Spark, North America, the social impact arm of BTS focusing on educational leadership development. Prior to BTS Spark, Sean was senior director of global outreach at ASCD, where he launched and grew the ASCD Whole Child Network across 56 countries and led the development of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model (WSCC) with the CDC. His latest book is The Power of the Whole: What is Lost by Focusing on Individual Things. 

      Learn More

      ASCD is a community dedicated to educators' professional growth and well-being.

      Let us help you put your vision into action.
      Related Articles
      View all
      undefined
      Social-emotional learning
      EL Takeaways
      Educational Leadership Staff
      in 23 hours

      undefined
      Tell Us About
      Educational Leadership Staff
      in 23 hours

      undefined
      Purposeful Work: A Calling or a Siren’s Song?
      Chase Mielke
      in 23 hours

      undefined
      The Power of Educator EQ
      Brooke Stafford-Brizard
      in 23 hours

      undefined
      EI: A Bedrock of Thriving Schools
      Sarah McKibben
      in 23 hours
      Related Articles
      EL Takeaways
      Educational Leadership Staff
      in 23 hours

      Tell Us About
      Educational Leadership Staff
      in 23 hours

      Purposeful Work: A Calling or a Siren’s Song?
      Chase Mielke
      in 23 hours

      The Power of Educator EQ
      Brooke Stafford-Brizard
      in 23 hours

      EI: A Bedrock of Thriving Schools
      Sarah McKibben
      in 23 hours
      From our issue
      Product cover image 121036b.jpg
      Trauma-Sensitive Schools
      Go To Publication