IDOE leadership recognizes the importance of ensuring that all students in the state are well prepared for college and careers following the completion of high school. In order to effectively lead LEAs in creating positive school climate and culture and implementing varied services and supports for student success, the department has requested ongoing assistance from GLCC to improve coordination across offices within the department. In Year 4, GLCC pursued a project entitled “Personalized Pathways to Academic Achievement for All Learners.” This project represents an advancement of the Year 4 project with the new emphasis on support in the writing and implementation of a powerful response to ESSA, concerning school climate and culture, MTSS, employability skills, and reading instruction for students with disabilities.
Indiana’s prioritization of improving its schools’ focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of its students is a critical step in assuring students success in school. Research confirms that a focus on SEL improves students’ social, emotional, and academic skills. In a meta-analysis of 213 studies evaluating SEL programs/interventions, Durlak and colleagues (2011) found that, compared with students receiving standard education without SEL, students receiving interventions designed to promote social and emotional development demonstrated increased academic achievement, and positive social behaviors, and showed decreased conduct problems and emotional distress. Students receiving SEL interventions also showed improved social-emotional skills, and attitudes towards self and others more specifically. The meta-analysis revealed that students with SEL training gained 11 percentile points on average in test scores and similar gains in grades relative to students not in SEL program. These results were consistent across grade level (elementary, middle, and high schools); location (urban, rural, and suburban); and school type (schools serving ethnically and racially diverse student populations). Durlak and his colleagues also found that the effects of SEL programs were stronger when programs were implemented well and completely (i.e., with “fidelity”), underscoring the importance of teacher training and ongoing professional development.
Progress to Date: GLCC…
- Aligned technical assistance with the IDOE State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) leader to determine specific need and available support for implementation of the SSIP.
- Facilitated strategic planning with staff from GLCC, GTL, National Center on School Improvement (NCSI), and CEEDAR in an effort to coordinate and streamline the centers’ supports for IDOE’s initiatives.
- Coordinated and facilitated planning with IDOE’s Outreach Director of Climate and Culture, Center on Innovations in Learning (CIL), and the National Center on State Supportive Learning Environments to frame the Outreach Division’s Climate and Culture initiative.
- Co-planned and co-facilitated a statewide ESSA Summit Every Student Succeeds Act Implementation: The Indiana Plan where the improvement of positive school climate and culture was prioritized.
Research and Resources
This project will involve partnerships with the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders and the Center on Innovations in Learning. It will also draw on resources provided through the National Center for Systemic Improvement, the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform Center, and the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments.