Establish social, emotional, behavioral learning and well-being as a priority in your SU/SD and school. It’s important to share the message to caregivers/families that schools play an essential role in promoting social, emotional, behavioral learning and well-being. The following statements will help inform those engaged in the conversation (Simonsen, McIntosh, 2021):
Supporting students’ development of social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) skills has been part of educational practice for decades;
Effectively teaching Social, Emotional, & Behavioral (SEB) skills are supported by rigorous research and is effective in helping students develop skills they need to navigate real life outside of schools. Social skills are essential in a job setting. “People don’t lose jobs because they didn’t do well in pre-calculus, but because they can’t get along with co-workers or supervisors.” (McIntosh, 2021);
School systems that prioritize family engagement will benefit from following the guidance provided in the Vermont Agency of Education document: Family Engagement: Making Connections with VTmtss. Included are seven Performance Indicator categories with examples of effective practices for each one and the VTmtss Driver Diagram components that connect to the performance indicators.
Families/caregivers can be invited to support the systems to promote student success. Asking families to help address the issues presented to schools due to COVID can go a long way toward building connections with families while accomplishing important tasks. For instance, one district put out a call for caregivers to volunteer to help with vaccination clinics.
Examine data that focuses on local needs to develop local solutions (McIntosh, 2021).