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Social-Emotional Learning

How Panorama Aligns with CASEL’s Framework for Districtwide SEL

Nick Woolf
Nick Woolf
How Panorama Aligns with CASEL’s Framework for Districtwide SEL



For district and school leaders, coordinating and building upon social-emotional learning practices and programs has taken on a new level significance as we navigate a new and uncertain education world.

While the 2020-21 academic year will likely be filled with uncertainty and volatility, it is clear that students are returning to classrooms with heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and learning loss. Measuring and understanding students' social-emotional needs and implementing systemic SEL will be crucial to ensuring that we can rebuild relationships, foster a sense of belonging, accelerate learning recovery efforts and build resiliency in every member of our school communities.

The Districtwide SEL Framework—released by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) in 2019—is a resource designed to help education leaders in their efforts to create an environment that embeds SEL into every part of students' educational experience and promote equitable outcomes for every learner.

casel districtwide framework for SEL[Source: CASEL]

The guide (along with CASEL's Guide to Schoolwide SEL) outlines four Focus Areas to help districts and schools achieve systemic SEL by organizing, implementing, and iterating on their whole child education efforts. It also includes an associated implementation rubric that allows individuals to track progress.

  1. Focus Area 1: Build a Strong Foundation. Build foundational support by establishing an SEL team, fostering commitment to SEL, developing a shared vision, and creating a communications strategy.
  2. Focus Area 2: Strengthen Adult SEL. Support all staff in cultivating their own social and emotional competence and promoting SEL for students.
  3. Focus Area 3: Promote SEL for Students. Create opportunities for students to practice SEL district- and school- wide, in the classroom, and through family and community partnerships.
  4. Focus Area 4: Practice Continuous Improvement. Identify opportunities for improvement and examine data to refine your plan.

Below, we summarize key takeaways from the guide and share how Panorama's platform, resources, and professional development align with each of CASEL's Focus Areas. As you consider ways to implement systemic social-emotional learning this year, we hope that these recommendations and resources give you a place to get started.

Focus Area 1: ORGANIZE

Build Foundational Support + Create a Plan

Key Takeaways:

  • Build the foundational support needed to launch, maintain, and continually improve high-quality SEL implementation by establishing a diverse and representative SEL team, engage all stakeholders in an introduction to SEL that fosters awareness, and creating structures to support two-way communication between the SEL team and the greater school community.
  • After establishing foundational support for SEL in your district or school, move into the planning stage to craft a vision and brainstorm how to achieve that vision. Setting specific goals and developing a thorough plan will help you shift from just committing to SEL to actual implementation that impacts every student.


CASEL Recommendation Panorama Alignment
“Establish structures that support consistent two-way SEL communication between the SEL team and all stakeholders.”

Use Panorama Student Success to support consistent communication between your SEL team and other stakeholders while fostering collaboration.

Panorama pulls together all of the most important information on your students—across academics, behavior, and social-emotional learning. We make it easy to identify at-risk students, build intervention plans, and progress monitor in one place.

Use Panorama’s Back-to-School Survey to capture and act on student, family, and staff feedback during the 2020-21 academic year and open up more avenues for communication with stakeholders.

Example survey topics include: Academic Needs, Student Engagement, Student Relationships, Cultural Awareness and Action, Staff Professional Needs, Family-School Communication, and School Public Health Measures.

"Effectively planning for full-scale implementation of schoolwide SEL is driven by a collaborative process of continuous improvement that asks your team to reflect on where you want to go, where you are now, and how to take action.”

Use Panorama for Social-Emotional Learning, a research-backed SEL assessment and analytics platform, to gauge student SEL, identify opportunities for additional support, and evaluate the impact of new programs and strategies to engage in continuous improvement

Panorama’s platform allows teams of administrators and educators to engage in data-based decision-making around SEL supports, with the ability to disaggregate data and filter results to group students for differentiated interventions.

Panorama's Social-Emotional Learning Assessment was recently ranked #1 in SEL measurement in a report from the Tyton Partners and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Work with Panorama's Strategic Advising team to drive sustained change and improvement. Through executive data briefings, coaching and consultations, and system advising, Panorama's team of advisors supports leadership teams to reflect, grow, and iterate.


Focus Area 2: IMPLEMENT [Adults]

Strengthen Adult SEL

Key Takeaways:

  • Adults can’t pour from an empty glass. Invest in building adult capacity and carving out spaces for adults to practice self-care. The well-being of teachers and staff is not a novel issue, but the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated stress and anxiety among educators.
  • Any district- or school- wide plan for SEL implementation will call on many adults to take an active role in promoting social-emotional learning. Leaders must work to intentionally foster a work environment in which staff feel supported, empowered, and are able to collaborate effectively to build trust and develop their own SEL skills.


CASEL Recommendation Panorama Alignment
“Support staff in reflecting on personal, social and emotional competencies and developing capacity for supporting SEL in their peers and students.”

Panorama for Adult SEL helps districts listen to teacher and staff needs around SEL and identify where to provide support. Our platform makes it easy to survey educators and surface key insights so you can support adult well-being and capacity for SEL.

Example survey topics include: Well-Being, Belonging, Staff-Leadership Relationships, Teaching Efficacy, and Teacher Self-Reflection.

"Set up structures such as professional learning communities (PLCs) or peer mentoring for staff to collaborate on how to hone their strategies for promoting schoolwide SEL.”

Every year, Panorama’s Teaching and Learning team designs and delivers professional development for thousands of schools and districts on a variety of topics, including: SEL data inquiry and action planning, strategies for adult SEL and well-being, and mindfulness-based practices for educators and students.

In addition, Panorama’s free Adult SEL Toolkit equips district leaders to strengthen adult SEL and mindsets with activities and worksheets aligned to CASEL’s Focus Area 2 for SEL implementation.


Focus Area 3: IMPLEMENT [Students]

Promote SEL for Students

Key Takeaways:

  • Promoting SEL requires the deliberate coordination of strategies that can reach across classrooms, all areas of the school, homes, and communities. Building supportive classroom environments, integrating SEL within academic instruction, carving out time for explicit SEL instruction, and nurturing family-school partnerships play a large role in creating safe, consistent conditions that support students’ academic, social, and emotional development.
  • Equally important is ensuring that discipline policies and practices promote SEL and equitable outcomes for every student. 


CASEL Recommendation Panorama Alignment
"Elevate student voice and create meaningful partnership opportunities that invite families to understand, experience, inform, and support the social and emotional development of their students."

Use Panorama’s Student Surveys to ensure student voice in decision-making on their own learning, school practices, and priorities. Our survey instruments are developmentally appropriate and adaptable to an in-person, hybrid, or distance learning environment. 

Use the Panorama Family-School Relationships Survey—developed with Dr. Karen Mapp at the Harvard Graduate School of Education—to elevate family perspectives and establish a continuous feedback loop with your parents and caregivers.


"Ensure discipline policies and practices promote SEL and equitable outcomes."

Use the Panorama Equity and Inclusion Survey—developed with the RIDES Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education—to start a conversation with students and gather their feedback on how they are experiencing diversity, equity, and inclusion in school.


"Adopt an evidence-based program, implement explicit SEL instruction, and integrate SEL throughout all instruction."


Panorama’s online professional learning library, Playbook, contains hundreds of SEL interventions, activities, lesson plans and strategies that are low lift and can be embedded into the classroom.

These resources come from Panorama's expert partners, including: Second Step, 7 Mindsets, Diversity Talks, CREATE, CharacterStrong, Move This World, Teaching Tolerance, Transforming Education, CharacterLab, Open Circle, Better Kids, Read to Lead, and Growing Leaders. 


Focus Area 4: IMPROVE

Practice Continuous Improvement

Key Takeaways:

  • Continuous improvement, or a deliberate and structured process to address problems of practice and improve student outcomes, is critical in terms of achieving goals for district- or school- wide SEL. Implementing an SEL plan requires that we regularly adjust and iterate.
  • Build a continuous improvement process into structured team meetings in order to review and refine your overall SEL implementation plan.


CASEL Recommendation Panorama Alignment
“Provide the SEL team and other involved staff with access to high-quality data. Model your own reflective practice with data.”

Use Panorama Student Success to support your multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) or response to intervention (RTI) program and give staff access to multiple data streams in one place.

Panorama pulls together all of the most important information on your students—across academics, behavior, and social-emotional learning. We make it easy to identify at-risk students, build intervention plans, and progress monitor in one place.

Our new Student Voice Data Exploration Guide—used by the likes of D.C. Public Schools and Portland Public Schools (OR)—breaks down our data inquiry process into easy steps and includes templates that you can customize for your own continuous improvement processes and use to model reflective practice with data.

"Offer opportunities for staff to cultivate knowledge and skills for analyzing data and presenting it to others.”

Every year, Panorama’s Teaching and Learning team designs and delivers professional development focused on growing educator capacity to use data effectively. We've guided hundreds of districts through the process of gathering, reviewing, and taking action on SEL data.


Ready to learn more? Get in touch with our team to see how Panorama can support your district with CASEL-aligned SEL measurement this year.

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