Categories: ,

Taking the social and emotional learning push to Washington, D.C.

Metro Schools' Director of Social and Emotional Learning Kyla Krengel This week, Metro Schools's director of social and emotional learning (SEL) Kyla Krengel joined Committee for Children and other SEL experts from all over the country on Capitol Hill to advocate for the inclusion of SEL in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Krengel met with Senators Alexander and Corker and asked for their support of an amendment to ESEA that would define SEL and allow funding for teacher and principal training to be used for SEL programming. She also asked them to support a committee report that accompanies the ESEA bill to mention the importance of SEL.

Scientific research shows that getting the best outcomes for students requires building nonacademic skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making—all of which SEL encompasses. These skills are teachable, promote healthy behaviors and help students in school, the workplace and life.

Metro Schools has made SEL a top priority, even baking it into the five-year strategic plan, Education 2018. Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register recently won a national award for his leadership in SEL, and the district as a whole is part of a nationwide collective of urban districts committed to expanding and improving SEL strategies.

Kyla Krengel with her fellow SEL experts

Krengel was joined by SEL advocates from Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida. In addition to meeting with their own Senators, Kyla and other attendees met with key members of both the House and Senate Education Committees. On the heels of the unanimous, bipartisan support for an ESEA reauthorization in the Senate HELP committee, the team is hoping their trip makes a big difference when the full Senate debates the bill in June.

Next month, Metro Schools and Alignment Nashville will host the fifth annual SEL Conference. This event brings together hundreds of educators, community members and non-profit partners to discuss the latest strategies and issues around SEL.

This year’s keynote speaker is San Francisco State University professor Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D. Dr. Duncan-Andrade has lectured around the world about the elements of effective, SEL-focused teaching in schools serving under-resourced areas and children impacted by trauma. His TED talk, titled “Growing Roses in Concrete,” is a viral sensation among educators.

Registration for the conference is now open on the Alignment Nashville website.

2015 Social and Emotional Learning Conference Friday, June 19, 2015 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Cane Ridge High School