Minnesota

Nurturing the Whole Child: Applying Social and Emotional Learning to Promote Safe and Supportive Schools in Minnesota

These students are learning an essential life skill: the ability to set, monitor, adapt, achieve, and evaluate goals. The skill is one of several learning goals in the new Social and Emotional Learning Framework under development by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). To support this framework, The Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) is partnering with MDE’s School Safety Technical Assistance Center to develop a suite of SEL resources and tools for districts, including the new K–12 SEL framework.

Early Learning Project

Through this continuing project, MWCC will build on the capacity to develop practice briefs and a framework for early childhood education PLCs in Year 4 by assisting MDE in its support of the implementation of kindergarten teacher PLCs to meet the goal of having all students able to read by the end of third grade in the World’s Best Workforce initiative.

Social-Emotional Learning Project

Through this continuing project, MWCC is assisting MDE in its support of efforts within Minnesota to develop district guidance for implementation and assessment of K–12 SEL. Project objectives include developing additional SEL guidance documents for schools and districts, and building on the SEL competencies developed in Year 4.

Cultural Competency Project

Through this continuing project, MWCC will build on the capacity to develop cultural competence resources and guidance for educators working with students with limited or interrupted formal education in Year 4 by assisting MDE in supporting efforts to implement cultural competency goals and plans under the LEAPS Act and World’s Best Workforce legislation.

American Indian Education Project

Through this continuing project, MWCC will build on the capacity to develop an American Indian Education (AIE) self-assessment tool in Year 4 by assisting MDE in closing the achievement gap of American Indian students. The project will support districts and schools to better serve the needs of this student population. The project also seeks to increase the capacity of teachers and leaders to create and implement culturally responsive and inclusive educational environments through a culturally relevant curriculum and instructional practices for American Indian students and their peers.

School Improvement Project

Through this continuing project, MWCC will build on the capacity to implement a comprehensive program evaluation and reporting in Year 4 by assisting MDE in its support of efforts within Minnesota’s RCEs for effective school improvement and turnaround in identified schools with priority, focus, and continuous improvement designations.

ESSA Transition Support Project

Through this new project, MWCC is assisting MDE in its support of state implementation of school improvement requirements in ESSA to achieve Minnesota’s World’s Best Workforce initiative, including strengthening stakeholder engagement, building  school improvement and turnaround efforts in schools identified for comprehensive and targeted support, and increasing the capacity of MDE staff to create, analyze and use surveys and focus groups to inform ESSA decision making.

Meet the Content Expert

Sarah Rand is a Partner Engagement and Communications Consultant with the Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC). As a member of the MWCC team, she provided strategic communications support for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in late 2015 and early 2016. Sarah talked to us about how she supported MDE and how she applies lessons from this work to other contexts.