History of SELAS

History of SELAS

Historical Overview/Turning Points in District 181’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Initiative (SELAS): 2001-present

  • Spring 2001: District 181 initiated exploration of Social Emotional Learning on a district-wide basis.
  • 2001-2002: District-wide committee established with representatives from each school (staff and parents), district administration, the school board, community-at-large, the high school district, and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. This committee was in place until Nov. 2004.

  • Two-day educational event (teacher institute day and meetings with community leaders) about Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), co-sponsored by D181 and the D181 Foundation. Speakers Maurice Elias and Ed Dunkelblau address staff and community members.
  • 2003: District-wide assessment accomplished with financial support of the PTO/PTAs. All students, teachers, and parents were asked to participate in the surveys.

  • August 2003: Survey results were presented to the District 181 Board of Education with specific focus on:
    • School Climate
    • Hurtful and Bullying Behaviors
    • Risk-taking Behaviors
    • School-Family Partnership
  • 2003-2004: SELAS reports (based on survey results) made to PTO/PTA Presidents’ group, parents, and community through a series of 4 public programs and other meetings.

  • Fall 2003 – Winter 2004: Using the results from the survey, appropriate evidence-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs were reviewed for possible use in D181.

  • Nov. 22, 2003: SELAS co-chairs (joined by Dr. Curley and Ann Scott from the Board of Education) presented a program at the Illinois State School Board Conference. The presentation was entitled “Making the Ends Meet: From Parent Participation to District Design in Starting a Social Emotional Learning Program.”

  • 2003: Legislation in IL results in the passage of the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003. This law mandates that every school district in the state “adopt and submit a policy for incorporating social and emotional development into its educational program.” (Illinois State Board of Education, ISBE). These policies must address (1) teaching social emotional skills, (2) assessing children’s progress in acquiring these skills, as well as (3) having protocols for responding to children with social, emotional, or mental health problems.

  • 2004: State of Illinois adopts learning standards for social and emotional learning.
    Illinois State Board of Education - Illinois Learning Standards - Social/Emotional Standards (SEL)

  • Winter, 2004:Disaggregated data on each school prepared for each of the 9 District 181 school principals

  • 2004: Lions-Quest Program selected for District 181, K-8.

  • 2004: District 181 received a grant from District 181 Foundation to support the implementation of the Lions-Quest program ($50,000).

  • 2004: District 181 received a grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and the two area Lions Clubs for the implementation /training of K-5 teachers ($30,000).

  • 2005 – present: SELAS Leadership Advisory Committee in place.

  • 2004-2005: All District 181 teachers trained in Lions-Quest programs.

  • 2004-2005: First year of Lions-Quest implementation in the middle schools.

  • 2005-2006: First year of Lions-Quest implementation in the elementary schools.

  • 2006-2007: All schools continued to implement Lions-Quest programs, Skills for Learning, Skills for Adolescence and integrate content into academic subject areas.

  • April 2006: Meetings with representative teachers and parents to reflect on progress of Lions-Quest implementation.

  • 2006-2007 and continuing: Parent SELAS Network organized and met regularly to coordinate efforts and communication and share ideas through all schools in the district.

  • Jan.-Feb. 2007: CASEL-designed assessment of school climate, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills, and behaviors administered to students and teachers, and sent to all parents.

  • 2006-2007: District-wide Parent Programs
    • Parent University, Oct. 26 and Nov. 4 at HMS. Michael Maniacci, PhD, presented the kickoff program on Oct. 26: 7 pm, Understanding Your Child’s Developmental Growth.
    • Dan Kindlon, author, child psychologist, professor at Harvard University School of Public Health, spoke on Too Much of a Good Thing, Jan. 31, 7:00 pm at CHMS. This event was attended by approximately 400 parents, preceded by numerous book discussions at various schools, and followed by substantial commentary in local blogs and in the school community.
  • Sept. 2007: Report of 2007 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) assessment to be presented to D181 Board of Education.

  • 2007-2008: District-wide Parent Programs
    • Parent University, Oct. 25 and November 3, 2008, at HMS, and open to all in Downers Grove Township. The past several years there has been a session devoted to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and the IL State Standards, along with 14 other sessions that address child development, parent-child relationships, learning, etc. This event provides an opportunity for the broad community to learn from experts and dialogue with other parents about the experience of parenting.
    • Jan. 2008 Parent Event: (Jan. 30, 2008), James Garbarino, PhD of Loyola University spoke on aspects of his many books, particularly Raising Children in a Socially Toxic World. This event was supported by the PTO/As of the D181 schools, The Hinsdale Community House, and the D181 Foundation. The SELAS Parent Network promoted the event. Approx. 250 people attended the program.
  • August 2008: Training of all district teachers in bullying prevention from Lions-Quest facilitator. Half-day session at Prospect School.

  • Fall 2008: Two-day training of all new teachers and administrators in the Lions-Quest curriculum.

    SELAS Advisory Committee Meetings
  • Fall 2008: Selection and training of two staff members (social workers) as Lions-Quest Trainers so that in the future new staff can be trained in-house.

  • 2008-2009:
    • Feb. 2009 Parent Event: Michael Maniacci, PhD, family therapist, spoke about helping children cope with bullying. This was sponsored by SELAS with support from the District 181 Foundation.
  • 2009: Two teachers (one a classroom teacher and the other a social worker) completed extensive Lions-Quest training and are Lions-Quest trainers for D181 teachers and support staff.

  • Summer 2009: Teachers created content binders for grades 4-8 that integrate Lions-Quest lessons with other SEL classroom and school-wide activities. Parents on the SELAS Committee assembled binders for all teachers grades 4-8.

  • 2009-2010:
    • Oct. 2009: CHMS sponsored Rachel’s Challenge. Members of the district community were invited to attend evening event. This was supported by the CHMS PTO and the District 181 Foundation.
  • Summer 2010: District teachers on the SELAS Advisory prepared information for schools and families about cyberbullying prevention.

  • August 2010: Instructional aides participated in a one-day Lions-Quest training.

  • SY 2010-2011:
    • Expanded SELAS section of the district’s website
    • Trained support staff in SEL curriculum
    • Sponsored district-wide SELAS Week activities at all schools
    • Sponsored two screenings of The Race to Nowhere and generated wide community discussion about our students’ experience of the school today
  • SY 2011-2012:
    • Sponsored the community book reading and discussion of The Price of Privilege
    • Conducted Homework Survey
    • SELAS Week activities offered in each school
  • SY 2012-2013:
    • Created and implemented a community communication plan to inform parents and teachers of upcoming events, activities, and provide information regarding Social and Emotional Learning
    • Adjusted SEL lessons in the Clarendon Hills Schools at 5th grade to include lessons similar to those included in DARE that address prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and violence
    • Sponsored discussion of the book, The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind with parents and staff and provided two presentations about SEL in District 181 for parents
  • SY 2013-2014:
    • Continued aligning SELAS lessons to IL state standards for SEL
    • Explored the lunchtime and recess experience at all schools and produced a manual for all schools to use and customize for recess rules, practices, and resources.
    • Created a SELAS logo
    • Provided consistent and relevant information about SEL in the D181 schools to the entire school community
  • SY 2014-2015:
    • Continued alignment of SEL programming with IL state standards for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and created a template to hold information from all schools and grade levels re SEL teaching content
    • Reviewed tools and resources to evaluate school climate
    • Identified professional development needs for SEL
    • SELAS Advisory Committee Meetings
  • SY 2015-16
    • Identified and began preparations to use the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) for upcoming climate survey in all schools, grades 4-8.
    • Increased communications from schools to families about SEL
    • Identified relevant SEL-related professional development and recommended to Department of Learning
    • Participated in DuPage Regional Office of Education Professional Learning Committee for SEL
    • Convened the SELAS Advisory committee and the SELAS Parents throughout the school year.
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