SEL at SDFAS
September 20, 2019
Dear 3rd through 8th Grade Families,
To follow up on Mark’s note about Responsive Classroom, today I am writing about a second SEL tool that we will be using: a school climate survey called Panorama.
We know that implementing and practicing the Responsive Classroom approach is a long-term project for our school community and we believe in its potential to support our students’ academic and emotional growth through Engaging Academics, Positive Community, Effective Classroom Management, and Developmentally Responsive Teaching. Along the way, to learn more about – and to try to measure — how students themselves feel about being at school and about their own learning, we have accepted the invitation to partner with Panorama Education* and 40+ other CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools) schools to administer a Student Survey. The participating schools will share findings — anonymously, no student names attached — to create a robust data set, compare trends, glean information that can help improve the student experience.
The Panorama surveys will take less than 20 minutes and will be administered by classroom teachers in 3rd through 8th grade between October 8 – 17. (Dates are set by CAIS and Panorama.) I will be on hand to help teachers with administration and translation, and Amelia McCurdy will help ESL students. The questions are related to school climate: do students feel safe, supported, seen, heard? Do they feel like they belong? How do they feel about their own SEL skills – staying focused on a task, not giving up when things are challenging, self-motivation, self-regulation. The survey will be administered a second time in April, so that we may compare responses at the beginning and towards the end of the year, with the hope of seeing positive growth.
We ask, hope, request that all students complete the school climate survey. Students’ perceptions are a key element in helping us shape SEL programs, which in turn support students’ well-being and character development, as well as academic growth.** However, if you do not wish for your child / children to complete the survey, please reply to this email to let us know, and we will respectfully take note.
Erin Stoller, SEL Coordinator (and High School Placement Counselor)
*www.panoramaed.com if you would like to have a look at their website.
They work with over 7 million students in 8,500 schools, in 46 states.
**Responsive Classroom teachings remind us that in order to be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies – cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control — and a set of academic competencies – academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors.