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Social-Emotional Learning: Goal-Setting and Relationships Are Part of District’s Academic Core

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Published on May 15, 2018

The Washoe County school district in Reno, Nev., has been way ahead of most other districts in its approach to social-emotional learning, especially in measuring students' SEL skills, which are part of the district’s accountability system. Education Week, which first reported on Washoe’s SEL work in 2016, checked back in with the district this school year to learn how its work on social-emotional learning has been progressing. We visited high school classes that are pointedly about developing SEL skills such as coping with stress and the power of thought. Stephan Molder, an SEL teacher in Reno's Hug High School, says successful social-emotional learning starts with the adults in schools. He boils it down to this: "...It's all about building relationships with students. I never wreck the relationship, no matter what. I always try to save the relationship first.”

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