These happy children are using a laptop to learn SEL principles in school.

How SEL can inspire data-driven instruction

Beaumont ISD builds growth mindset by leveraging SEL and having students collaborate in setting their academic goals and tracking their own performance

Beaumont ISD is a district of more than 18,000 students, with 80 percent of our students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Our diverse student population has a high mobility rate based on family financial and employment situations, so a number of our students move from school to school during the year. This presents a variety of challenges to the fidelity and cohesiveness of instruction.

Like all districts in Texas, our accountability ratings are based on how our students perform on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests. We align our assessments with the rigor of that state test, but as I always tell my teachers in training, if you just have one piece of data, you only have one corner of a picture.

Related content: 5 benefits of SEL in classrooms

To get the complete picture, we must look at—and act on—multiple valid, reliable sources of data. Our solution is a combination of strong data-driven instruction and social-emotional learning (SEL) to build strong relationships between teachers and students.

Gathering, discussing, and acting on data

To gather the data to support this approach, we began using Renaissance Star Assessments districtwide in the 2015–2016 school year. We screen all K–8 grade students in reading, math, or early literacy at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. We also progress-monitor Tier III students at checkpoints throughout the year to track growth.

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