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Focus Area 1B

Rubric and Goal-Setting

Review your current level of implementation, identify needs and resources, set goals, and develop concrete action steps for SEL implementation.

Effectively planning for full-scale implementation of schoolwide SEL is a collaborative, multi-step process that begins with taking stock of your current efforts, establishing clear goals, identifying actions you’ll take to achieve your goals, and continuously reflecting on data and adjusting strategies to improve implementation.

If you have already begun planning for SEL implementation, use the rubric or the questions below to identify areas for continuous improvement: 

Has the SEL team assessed needs and resources?

Has the SEL team developed a one-year (at minimum) SEL implementation plan with S.M.A.R.T.I.E. goals, action steps, and assigned ownership?

Is the SEL plan fully integrated with other schoolwide priorities and plans?

Does the SEL team review their goals and the plan regularly to monitor implementation and make necessary adjustments?

Whether you are just beginning to plan for implementation or you’ve already been implementing SEL for a few years, the Schoolwide SEL Implementation Planner is designed to move schools through this process so that next steps are clear and achievable. This interactive tool walks teams through the following steps:

  • Review current implementation, needs, and resources. The team can collaboratively complete the Rubric to consider the school’s progress toward full-scale implementation while also taking note of what resources your schools already has to support implementation and what you might need. While you might be in the beginning stages of systemic implementation, it’s likely your school is already doing work to support SEL. The rubric helps set a baseline of your current level of implementation and has an embedded needs and resource assessment. Some schools may choose to complete the entire rubric, while other schools may prefer to take the rubric one section at a time.  Our Rubric Meeting Template provides a sample agenda for working through the rubric as a team.
  • Examine your responses. What are your school’s strengths? Where are there gaps in implementation? Why might these gaps exist? What seems most critical to address?
  • Select a few areas to prioritize. Considering your current level of implementation, your strengths, and your needs, identify the most important areas to focus on to achieve your vision for SEL. In general, it’s recommended that you prioritize items that need improvement in Focus Area 1, before moving onto Focus Areas 2 and 3. Often, schools engage in Focus Areas 2 and 3 simultaneously. Items in Focus Area 4 can be prioritized at any time.
  • Develop goals and action steps for each priority.

Your team may find it’s helpful to consider “SMARTIE” when drafting goals:

  • Specific—Does the goal clearly state what is to be accomplished?
  • Measurable—Does the goal refer to a measurable outcome?
  • Attainable—Does this goal seem reachable given where things are now?
  • Realistic/Relevant—Will attaining this goal make a difference in the quality of students’ lives?
  • Timely—Has a time frame been established for achieving this goal?
  • Inclusive – Does this goal invite traditionally excluded individuals to make decisions and contribute in a way that shares power?
  • Equitable – Does this goal include an element of fairness or justice that seeks to address systemic injustice, inequity, or oppression?

Reference: The Management Center

It’s helpful to start with three to five large goals, broken down into smaller action steps that keep you on pace. For guidance and more examples of SMARTIE goals, see our tool Developing Goals for Schoolwide SEL.  As goals are accomplished, teams can update their rubric and add additional goals to reflect their current progress.

Sample Goals and Action Steps:

Goal 1: The school staff will collectively develop and incorporate into grade-level meetings shared agreements for how staff will interact with one another, with students, and with students’ families and community by December 15, 2019.

Action Steps:

  • SEL team will invite all staff to a preliminary 45-minute information session about setting staff shared agreements on September 10, 2019.
  • SEL team will meet with all grade-level teams and non-teaching staff to collect staff’s first round of recommendations for staff shared agreements by September 24, 2019.
  • The SEL team will collect, synthesize, and share out staff’s input for two drafts of staff shared agreements by October 18, 2019.
  • The SEL team will collect final feedback, finalize the agreements, and then share out a final version of the school’s staff shared agreements to all staff by November 1, 2019.
  • The SEL team will meet with all grade-level teams to support modeling and embedding shared agreements into staff meeting agendas by Dec. 15, 2019.

The following sections in this Focus Area provide resources to help identify professional learning, communication, and budget needs that may help achieve these goals.

Springfield Middle School’s Multiyear Plan

Springfield Middle School has developed a multiyear plan to implement and sustain SEL schoolwide. The SEL team meets monthly to review schoolwide strategies and ensure they’re on track to reach the annual goals they’ve set.

Their multiyear plan began with an initial rollout of SEL-focused class periods and has progressed to strategies that ensure SEL is sustained and integrated throughout the school day:

Year one: The school selected an evidence-based SEL program and provided professional learning to all teachers. Advisory periods were renamed “Social, Emotional Learning”, and all teachers used this time to facilitate the program and promote a sense of community. This built a foundation for the second year of implementation.

Year two: The SEL team focused on ensuring sustainability of their year one implementation efforts. For example, they worked with a district SEL coach to develop a year-long schedule of SEL lessons and activities. To help ensure sustainability, SEL team members were not assigned their own students during SEL periods but provided ongoing support to other teachers or served as substituted to teach lessons when a teacher was absent.

Year three: Springfield plans to build on years one and two by continuing to increase sustainability while ensuring SEL is integrated throughout the school. The SEL team will develop year-long lesson packets for teachers, including consumable materials for students. They will also consolidate the different problem-solving methods currently used in academic classes to develop a common method and common language for resolving disputes. As part of their community-building strategy, they will also focus on team-building lessons.

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