Woodridge School District 68

How teachers and school leaders improve social-emotional learning with measurement

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Thomas Jefferson Junior High School

Woodridge, IL

"I need to know if it’s working.” Woodridge School District 68 has decided to put social-emotional learning (SEL) at the core of the district's philosophy for developing students that thrive in high school, college, careers, and beyond.

The challenge that school and district administrators faced was understanding if their focus on SEL is making an impact. The district uses several SEL programs, and teachers incorporate SEL into the day with "mini-lessons," advisories, and reading groups. But without any data about students' growth in these areas, leaders didn't have a view of what's working and which students need more support.

Today, Woodridge School District 68 measures and promotes students' SEL through Panorama for Social-Emotional Learning. Teachers, counselors, and administrators all use the interactive reports and tools to:

  • Measure student growth in areas beyond academics
  • Understand the effectiveness of SEL programs and activities
  • Match students with appropriate supports
  • Create a culture that promotes positive relationships and mindsets

Location

Woodridge, Illinois, a suburban community located 20 miles southwest of Chicago

About

Serves 3,200 students in grades K-8 across 7 schools with a diverse student population

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Pt. 1

Measuring Social-Emotional Learning

Without any data, which is where we existed before, it was all on feeling. Panorama gives us an opportunity to dive deeper and be more strategic with how we support students.
Dr. William Schmidt Principal

Woodridge School District 68 is a suburban district serving a diverse, K-8 student population outside of Chicago, Illinois. For many years, the district has emphasized student growth in areas beyond academics. By promoting positive teacher-student relationships at the start of each school year, developing a district-wide plan for college and career readiness, and implementing a cooperative learning model in its classrooms, Woodridge has prioritized students' social and emotional development at its schools.

Yet without data to measure their progress, Principal William Schmidt felt he was missing an opportunity to understand how his school prepares students, both academically and with social-emotional skills.

District leaders and Principal Schmidt decided to use Panorama for Social-Emotional Learning to better understand students' growth in their SEL skills and competencies.

For Principal Schmidt, this focus is essential for helping students thrive: “I don't think anything changes when you talk about the realm of SEL. We have taken the approach of looking at using SEL data to be able to drive improvement for our students here.”

Today, Principal Schmidt and administrators in Woodridge are using SEL data to equip teachers and counselors with the information they need to promote the fundamental skills and beliefs that will help students succeed within and far beyond the classroom.

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Panorama Measures of Social-Emotional Learning

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Pt. 2

Using SEL Data in the Classroom

Teachers and counselors use Panorama's SEL data to find new ways to support students:

Michelle Madden, School Counselor: “As the school counselor, gathering SEL data is really important to my role. With my team of social workers, I can see what's going on with students and have a black and white way to look at it from the student's perspective and say, 'This is what our students need, this is where they're at, and this is what we need to be doing as a building.' Using Panorama data is another way we can access information that helps us deepen our relationships with students.”

Christina Farsalas, ELA/Social Studies Teacher: “With this data, I'm always looking to see if there are gaps; if there's an area that we need to be concerned about and try to come up with curriculum, or for how we can use SEL in the curriculum we already teach. We're so interested in seeing growth in students' learning, so I’m curious to see how they can grow their social-emotional learning, as well. We really are student-centered now and we're here to help the whole child.

Kayla Lewandowski, Math Teacher: “I'm able to see what kids are already there as far as SEL skills, and maybe what kids I can pair together to help them grow. I'm looking forward to being able to see the growth from the beginning to the end of the year because they're different people within one school year. So hopefully with our second round of data, we'll see growth mindset will have increased.”

Students in Woodridge School District 68 complete Panorama's Social-Emotional Learning surveys that measure each student's perception of Growth Mindset, Grit, Social Awareness, and Emotion Regulation.
Pt. 3

The Results

In my seven years here at Jefferson, I have seen a transformation with social-emotional learning. It's been a culture shift.
Michelle Madden School Counselor

By collecting and monitoring SEL data, Woodridge School District 68 has taken strides to provide teachers and counselors with tools that promote healthy relationships with students, positive social learning environments, and strong mindsets.

For Principal Schmidt, the renewed focus on measuring growth in students' SEL has already benefited his school: “You have to look at as many data points as you possibly can to get the full picture. With Panorama data, you're finding a way to help us make better informed decisions.”

Woodridge School District 68 uses Panorama's interactive reports to analyze data about students' social-emotional learning both district-wide and within all seven schools.

As featured in  "The Power of Measuring Social-Emotional Learning"

Key Results

Measured students' growth in SEL

Today, administrators have access to reliable data about students' SEL to monitor growth from their relationship-building and cooperative learning programs.

Delivered actionable reports for teachers and counselors

Every teacher and counselor receives access to SEL data for their students, allowing for individualized support both inside and outside of the classroom.

Added a key data source for student support teams

Counselors and social workers now look at SEL data alongside attendance and behavior data to better identify students with the greatest needs.

Promoted students' perspectives and mindsets

By adopting surveys from the perspective of the student, Woodridge empowers students to provide feedback and bolsters its commitment to student-centered learning.

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