Earlier this month, the SEL Dallas team welcomed The Wallace Foundation, CASEL and the Weikart Center teams during the Forum for Youth Investment for a two-day site visit to observe and learn about the progress of SEL Dallas implementation. Our guests included Claudia DeMegret, program officer at The Wallace Foundation, Sherrie Raven and Duncan Meyers from CASEL, as well as Laenne Thompson and Joe Bertoletti from the Forum for Youth investment.
During the two days they visited three SEL Dallas sites, Cowart, Silberstein and DeZavala Elementary. These visits included:
- Campus Learning Walks at Cowart Elementary (in-school), Silberstein Elementary (in-school) and DeZavala Elementary (OST)
- Conversation with school leadership department on future SEL alignment
- Discussion on continual improvement process activities and challenges
- Principal round table discussion
The strong climate and culture across all three SEL Dallas campuses visited was highlighted during the two-day visit. At Silberstein, they were treated to students and teachers engaging in warm greetings while entering the school and classrooms for the morning, an upbeat campus song played over the PA, followed by the morning announcement filled with SEL themes and an exciting introduction into their House System.
At Cowart, we observed many classrooms starting their day with SEL morning meeting, classrooms teaching their weekly Sanford Harmony lesson, SEL integration between the weekly Sanford Harmony theme and the ELA lesson and numerous classrooms where flexible seating and peace corners were being positively utilized.
The Thriving Minds After School program at DeZavala shared their program-wide mindful moment during the mid-afternoon transition time between activities, implementation of the OST SEL Pacing Guide activities where students practiced how breathing and drawing circles could help lower their heart rate.
The SEL Dallas core team extends a sincere thank you to everyone who opened their doors and contributed their time and talents. Our collective efforts left our visitors with a positive view of the progress we are making as a community while also supplying us with constructive questions and ideas on how to push our work even further.