NJDOE Makes Funds Available for SEL
The New Jersey Department of Education has announced a grant opportunity that aims to address student learning loss due to COVID-19. Throughout the grant there is a strong emphasis on SEL. The focus can be on one of three areas - Math, Language Arts or SEL. It is important to note that if Math or Language Arts is chosen, there must be an SEL focus.

The deadline for schools/districts to apply is January 21, 2021.

The School Culture and Climate Initiative is able to partner with districts to provide services required in the grant (assessment/data driven approach, professional development, SEL teacher coaching and/or consultancy services). Please contact us if you would like to explore what this partnership may look like in your school/district.
School Culture and Climate Conference 2021
Let’s Reimagine Education – Together!
Education reform has been a topic of conversation for decades and while strides have been made over the years, our current pandemic has forced us to consider new protocols, new strategies and even a new way of looking at what it means to be educated. Join us for the School Culture and Climate Virtual Conference 2021: Opportunities Born from Challenges where you will engage with a group of superintendents who joined forces at the start of the pandemic not only to support each other but also to navigate a new movement to rethink our education system. You will be challenged with innovative ideas, inspired by creative case studies, and motivated to seek out the opportunities that may be hiding in the wake of our current crisis.
Resources, Webinars and PD
Education Week Webinar "Incorporating SEL, Climate, & Culture into School Improvement and Accountability in 2021"
January 12 at 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the nation’s mental health and equity concerns, has accelerated the shift in the accountability landscape. As we move beyond test scores to a more holistic picture of students and school communities, education leaders are rethinking school performance to incorporate social-emotional learning, climate, and culture—with stakeholder voices at the center. Hear from district leaders from San Francisco Unified School District (CA), Coppell Independent School District (TX), and Liberty Public Schools (MO) on their vision and concrete practices for partnering with their communities and centering the whole child. Register here
CASEL CARES Webinar "Teacher Reflections: Discoveries about Teaching & Learning That Will Last Beyond the Pandemic"
January 22 at 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET
In the fall, educators across the country were thrust into an unprecedented school year that required rethinking how learning and development occurs in distance-learning classrooms. While the need for social and emotional learning is more evident than ever, new types of learning environments have required teachers to look beyond their traditional classroom strategies. Join us to hear from three teachers who navigated social distancing requirements, virtual platforms, and unfamiliar instructional practices to discover new connections and new insights that centered and elevated SEL and equity. Recommended for school leaders, educators, and teachers, attendees will learn about how challenges became discoveries that will lead to equitable SEL innovations beyond the pandemic. Register here
This unprecedented school year has placed a tremendous emotional load on school staff across the nation. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has launched a new, free course, Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty and Stress. Their hope is to give all school staff the skills and tools they need to care for themselves and their students in the face of tremendous challenges. Delivered by leading experts in the fields of psychology, education, and research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, this course enables participants to complete coursework at their own pace and create an action plan to enhance their personal and professional growth. Course registration is available here
Article: "Caring for Students in the Wake of a Traumatic News Event"
As pro-Trump extremists stormed into the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, teachers are left wondering how to help their students process the unprecedented event. Experts on social-emotional learning say it’s crucial for educators to help students identify their own feelings, to understand the effects adults have on students’ emotional stability, and to recognize teachable moments on tough news days. Read the article.
Edutopia has helpful articles and videos with a range of topics including the articles below:

“Choosing Culturally Responsive Images to Connect With Students”
For teachers who are just starting to weave students’ backgrounds into their practice, focusing on the images in lessons is a good option. Read the article.

"5 Ways to Take Some of the Distance Out of Distance Learning"
It’s important this year to keep connecting with students and fostering their engagement in learning. Read the article.
Join Us for #SELday - March 26, 2021
Celebrate the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) on the second annual International SEL Day on March 26th. The theme this year is Building Bonds, Reimagining Community. We encourage all schools to participate in some way - create a video or provide a photo showcasing the things you are doing to promote SEL in your school and community, then share it out on SEL Day. We'd love for you to forward it to us to share as well. Sign up for SEL Day here.

"Youth Mental Health First Aid"
The Northeast and Caribbean Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) can provide Youth Mental Health First Aid to your school or organization at no cost. "Youth Mental Health First Aid" is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders." 

If you are interested in receiving training, please email us.
The Academy for SEL in Schools, a partnership between Rutgers University and Saint Elizabeth University, offers certificate programs for educators and educational leaders in social-emotional and character development.
SEL4NJ is a state-wide coalition that promotes high-quality SEL throughout the state. Sign up now to join this effort and to stay informed about national and state SEL news!
The School Culture and Climate Initiative (SCCI) is based at the Center for Human and Social Development at Saint Elizabeth University.