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Focus Area 1B

Develop a Shared Vision for SEL

Collaboratively develop a shared vision for schoolwide SEL that serve as an inspirational call-to-action and the backbone of SEL planning and implementation.

Where do we want to go?

Moving a large group of stakeholders toward a desired outcome is complex work. In The Learning Leader: How to Focus School Improvement for Better Results, Douglas Reeves suggests that one of the first steps in organizational change is to establish a compelling vision and clear standards of action (Reeves, 2006).

When implementation is launched without engaging all stakeholders in a shared vision, it can lead to short-lived initiatives and concerns about lack of buy-in and commitment. The process of developing a vision helps foster a sense of shared ownership over SEL. It asks staff, students, families, and community partners to reflect on why they are doing this work and what they want for their students and their school.

A shared vision for schoolwide SEL will also launch the planning process and guide all implementation and continuous improvement efforts that are discussed throughout the rest of the CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL.

Shared Vision

A collaboratively developed schoolwide vision takes into account the school’s unique strengths and needs and reflects the hopes, needs, and efforts of the entire school community. The shared vision:

  • Serves as an anchor for all that the school does to support students academically, socially, and emotionally.
  • States the school community’s hopes for what students will experience at school.
  • Provides stakeholders with a sense of collective responsibility and unity.

If you have already begun developing a shared vision, reflect on the following questions:

Has the SEL team collaborated with a group of stakeholders who are representative of the school community to develop a shared vision for schoolwide SEL?

Has the vision been communicated to the entire school community?

Does the vision inform planning and implementation?

Is the vision revisited regularly?

Based on your responses, you can use the guidance and tool below to help you develop or revisit your vision.

Examples of a Shared Vision for Schoolwide SEL

John Spry Community School (Chicago) Shared Vision

“Our Spry Community will instill in our students the love of learning, respect for others, and appropriate social-emotional skills to become healthy, productive members of society. Our students will reach their full potential through a safe and nurturing environment that encourages rigorous learning, individuality, and dual language development.”

Charles G. Hammond Elementary (Chicago) Shared Vision and Mission

“Visión de Hammond:

Todos los estudiantes participaran en un programa de instrucción rigurosa que abarque el desarrollo socio-emocional necesario para tener éxito en la escuela secundaria, Universidad, su carrera y su vida.

Declaración de la misión de Hammond:

Charles G. Hammond busca crear en los niños un ambiente de aprendizaje que sea un reto y los inspire a tener aitas expectativas para que estén preparados para la universidad, y listos para tener una carrera por medio de una instrucción rigurosa impulsada por las normas estándares del estado. La visión y misión de nuestra escuela permite la enseñanza individualizada con diferentes estiles de aprendizaje para que se desarrollen en el aspecto social, emocional y éxito académico, Nos esforzamos por tener nuestros padres, maestros, y miembros de la comunidad envueltos en el procesa de aprendizaje de nuestros estudiantes.”

The schools featured here didn’t arrive at their shared vision by accident. Each intentionally sought to learn about the hopes each stakeholder group has for students. The result was a clear vision for SEL to guide their schoolwide SEL implementation.

Some schools may choose to integrate SEL into an existing school vision. Whether schools choose to create a shared vision specifically for SEL or incorporate SEL into their existing vision, it’s important to get input and feedback on what to include though structured conversations.

Download Tool

Develop a Shared Vision for Schoolwide SEL

This tool provides a model for structuring a conversation about developing a shared vision for SEL or integrating SEL into your school’s existing shared vision.

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