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SEL Should Be an Easy Sell for U.S. Schools & Districts

SEL Should Be an Easy Sell for U.S. Schools & Districts

It shouldn’t take another suicide or school shooting to get districts to embrace the power of social-emotional learning. In light of tragic events that have put a recent focus on school safety issues, it’s more important than ever to understand the value of students’ social and emotional learning (SEL). While districts are starting to talk … Continue reading SEL Should Be an Easy Sell for U.S. Schools & Districts

Viewing Mental Health Through the “We Care” Campaign

Viewing Mental Health Through the “We Care” Campaign

As the mental health of America’s students is weighing heavily on all of our minds, the “We Care” campaign launched in Santa Ana Unified this winter is a bright example of one district’s effort to take a proactive stance on the subject. “We Care” is SAUSD’s response to AB 2246, the California legislation passed in … Continue reading Viewing Mental Health Through the “We Care” Campaign

Engaging Reluctant Learners: Relationships, Relevance, and Communication

Engaging Reluctant Learners: Relationships, Relevance, and Communication

  Learning is a posture. Yes, it’s a mindset. Yes, it’s an attitude. Yes it’s a process with mental, physical, and emotional variables working together. But it’s also the way a student sits. Allow me to explain. Teachers can identify the kid with his arms folded and his chin down on his chest. The kid … Continue reading Engaging Reluctant Learners: Relationships, Relevance, and Communication

School-Aged Youth & Trauma: How Education Communities Can Help

School-Aged Youth & Trauma: How Education Communities Can Help

This article was co-written with Julie Ziegler. To continue the conversation, please reach out to them respectively at jharris@illuminateed.com or jziegler@illuminateed.com. When you look around your schools, would you believe that 1 out of every 4 students has experienced at least one traumatic or adverse childhood experience? In fact, 1 out of every 2 people … Continue reading School-Aged Youth & Trauma: How Education Communities Can Help

The General Status of Student Mental Health in Our Schools

The General Status of Student Mental Health in Our Schools

Mental health disorders in our K-12 schools affect many of our youth and directly impact classroom learning and social interactions, both of which are critical to the success of students. Mental disorders among children is a critical public health issue because of their early onset, frequency, and impact on schools, families, and the community at … Continue reading The General Status of Student Mental Health in Our Schools

Illuminate Whiteboard Series: The Basics of Social Emotional Learning Competencies

Illuminate Whiteboard Series: The Basics of Social Emotional Learning Competencies

Presented by Dr. Chris Balow – Transcription below Introduction  Hello, everyone. Welcome to the “Illuminate Whiteboard Series.” I’m Dr. Chris Balow, Chief Research Scientist here at Illuminate Education. And we’re here today to talk about social emotional learning competencies. This is a super important area that’s really kind of at the forefront of education right … Continue reading Illuminate Whiteboard Series: The Basics of Social Emotional Learning Competencies

What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

This article was co-authored with Katya Mocalis. For more resources or if you have any questions, please contact her at kmocalis@illuminateed.com or Dr. Gail Thompson at gthompson@illuminateed.com. ***** A high school teacher in Southern California was shocked one day to learn that one of her students had used a permanent marker to draw a swastika on … Continue reading What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Since the 1980s, much has been written about student engagement and how to improve it. While various psychological theories contribute to the overall picture of what makes students interested in learning, little has been done to organize the research into a coherent model that students, parents, and educators can use to improve academic outcomes. School … Continue reading Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Ditch “The Book” & Use Restorative Principles for Interventions

Ditch “The Book” & Use Restorative Principles for Interventions

Back when I was in jail and probation—serving as an assistant principal for a charter school network based within the system—I saw a lot of students from various backgrounds shuffling through. Since I was the AP, referrals were pretty consistent. The reasons were like how the ol’ saying goes, “If I only had a dime … Continue reading Ditch “The Book” & Use Restorative Principles for Interventions

How to Track Progress & Growth with an Accountability Dashboard

How to Track Progress & Growth with an Accountability Dashboard

Why did we build an Accountability Dashboard? Despite what you’ve heard in the news, ESSA is still around. Even our U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is saying that we should honor the timeline that was already set in place. So, we’re going to keep moving forward, and all the individual states are still moving forward … Continue reading How to Track Progress & Growth with an Accountability Dashboard