Finally, consider whether a platform can track and assign interventions in ways that fit your specific MTSS and SEL needs. Features like a centralized intervention bank that can be tailor-made for every school, the option to individually or mass assign interventions, and the ability to split interventions and progress monitoring assessments by tier collectively build efficiency through a common language of practice. Together, these measures of student growth can provide other insights including the time students may be spending in different interventions, and the growth each intervention may yield provides leaders an easy overview of program effectiveness and return on investment.
SEL data can elevate student and family perspectives
At its core, SEL is intended to help students develop and practice empathy, perspective, self-reflection and active listening to build connections with others. By teaching those competencies, SEL affirms students’ identities, strengths, values, lived experiences, and culture. Thoughtful programming and meaningful assessments, combined with a flexible data platform such as Proliftic, allows educators to monitor and compare the development of these so-called “soft skills.” Visual representations of student progress also give educators an engaging way to start conversations with students, parents and the community to make SEL programming more impactful.
When educators and students examine student SEL data together, it helps to strengthen educator-student relationships while continuing to build SEL skills including collaboration, self-efficacy and goal setting. School leaders, teachers and the SEL materials and data themselves may have “blind spots.” Therefore, including students, their families, as well as community-based organization leaders in selection of SEL programming, may help diminish the blind spots and lead to improved strategies that more fully reflect the lived experiences of students and families while furthering the educators’ and leaders’ personal SEL journeys.
Giving educators back their time
Remote learning brought both educational system shortcomings and strengths into the forefront including the long list of responsibilities that educators regularly take on. While surveys show that most educators believe there’s a great need for SEL in the classroom, and many have always provided it without an official framework, building out a formal SEL program, screening and progress monitoring require training and support. A platform that can both track the delivery of SEL interventions and bring them together with other data into one whole-child view can add a measure of simplicity to educators’ lives, especially as educators report higher rates of stress and burnout.
Before investing in a data insights vendor, organization leaders should ask themselves the following questions:
- Is the system flexible enough to handle a variety of data sources?
- Are we going to be treated like a transaction or partner in the relationship?
- Are the people who work for the vendor experts in their field who can guide us through the process?
- Will the implementation include remote or in-person training and materials?
- How much of our own human resource capital will we need to support the system once it’s up and running?
As SEL makes its way into more schools, data is crucial to refine the programming and interventions that work best for students. A data insights platform should be part of any SEL framework to guide decision-making, report on impact and give educators more time to model the SEL they’re teaching in their classrooms.
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