Social and Emotional Learning

Students in an advisory groupUpper Arlington Schools is committed to ensuring that every child is able to succeed and thrive throughout their academic journey in our schools. Our mission is to challenge and support every student, every step of the way, and our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan is grounded in our mission. 

Our strategic plan calls upon us to create a culture that fosters emotional well-being, engagement and resilience in each and every student. Part of creating that culture involves strengthening connections between life management strategies and habits of mind with daily classroom learning experiences. Research has demonstrated over time that one of the best ways to accomplish these goals is through social and emotional learning.

What is social-emotional learning?

Social-emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Research demonstrates that students who receive support for social and emotional learning in schools do better academically, socially and behaviorally. Social-emotional learning has also been shown to positively impact economic mobility and mental health outcomes. Developing these skills in our students is an important part of meeting the needs of the whole child. (Ohio Department of Education)

The intentional implementation of social and emotional learning across all of our learning spaces will enhance school-life balance, well-being and academic learning for all.  The 2019-2024 Strategic Plan calls for the creation of an infrastructure that gathers frequent qualitative and quantitative data to inform our practices, and continuously improves student and staff belonging and balance. 

The following qualitative and quantitative data points are routinely collected to help inform the enhancement of our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and approaches to student well-being: 

  • Attendance data
  • Academic growth indicators
  • Counselor needs assessment
  • Discipline data
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion data
The following are resources we use to gather student voice. Survey questions are always shared with families in advance, and the surveys are never mandatory. Opt out processes are shared with families, and students are never forced to participate.

Panorama SEL Survey

Beginning in grade 3, the optional Panorama survey asks our students to reflect on their own mindsets and approaches to learning by answering questions in the areas of self-management, social awareness, emotion regulation, supportive relationships, sense of belonging, and diversity and inclusion. Questions are adjusted for elementary, middle and high school reading levels, and teaching staff assist students with any words/phrases they are unfamiliar with.

The results of the Panorama survey are confidential and are used by our teaching, counseling, and leadership teams to inform professional learning and targeted areas for staff to address with their class(es), as well as provide insight for leadership’s planning.

Ohio Healthy Youth Environment Survey (OHYES!)

The Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey (OHYES!) is a free, voluntary, web-based survey to collect information that schools and communities can use to access resources to reduce risk behaviors and create healthy and safe community, school and family environments. We give this survey every other year to students in grades 7-12.

SEL Research Resources

For our strategic plan, a customized literature review was conducted by a not-for-profit organization that specializes in well- being, Generation Schools Network (GSN). The full literature review titled, Belonging and Balance in the Lives of Students and Staff: A Literature Analysis of the Role Belonging and Balance Play in School Success, can be found here.

Additional research on the academic impact of SEL curricula integration: 

Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D. & Schellinger, K. B. (2011), The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82: 405–432.

Mahoney, J.L., Durlak, J.A., & Weissberg, R.P. (2018). An update on social and emotional learning outcome research. Phi Delta Kappan, 100 (4), 18-23.

Roisin P. Corcoran, Alan C.K. Cheung, Elizabeth Kim, Chen Xie, Effective universal school-based social and emotional learning programs for improving academic achievement: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 50?years of research, Educational Research Review, Volume 25, 2018, Pages 56-72, ISSN 1747-938X.

View text-based website