Use an inclusive process to identify your goals
The perspectives of staff, families, students, out-of-school time providers and community partners are critical in identifying an evidence-based program that will be the right match for your school community. Include representatives from these groups on your program selection team with equity in mind. Then, discuss the following questions as a selection team:
- What would a program need to include so that it is able to meet the needs of your student population and their families? (Consider cultural relevance and responsiveness, language needs, etc.)
- What kind of program or approach (e.g., lesson-based, academic integration, teacher practices, organizational) makes sense based on the needs of our teachers? (Consider training and support needs, goals for students, school day structure, etc.)
- What district goals should we keep in mind while selecting an SEL program? (Does the district have a Graduate Portrait or specific goals around increasing academic performance? Upending discipline disparities? Providing opportunities for student leadership?)
- What school priorities will our evidence-based program for SEL need to align with? (Does the school have a vision? Other initiatives and priorities such as parent engagement, state SEL standards, or student voice?)
Use the answers to these questions to set priorities while choosing a program. Download the tool (.docx).
Evidence-based programs are an important part of systemic SEL. To learn more about systemic SEL or about choosing an evidence-based program, see the CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL.