The Partnerships for Social & Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI) is a national research initiative funded by the Wallace Foundation to tackle the following question:
If urban schools and their after school partners work together to improve and align experiences and climate to foster children’s social and emotional learning, will students benefit – and what does it take to do this work?
Boston is one of six cities chosen to participate in the initiative over six years to determine outcomes from strategically tackling the above question. The other five communities participating in PSELI are Dallas TX, Denver, CO, Palm Beach County, FL, Tacoma, WA, and Tulsa, OK.
Elements of PSELI nationwide:
- Operates at two levels:
- System: school district and out-of-school time intermediary (OSTI)
- Site: elementary schools and their OST partners serving K2 – 6th grade students
- Happens in two phases:
- Phase 1: pilot sites receive intervention from 2017-2021
- Phase 2: comparison sites apply lessons learned, 2021-2023
Elements of PSELI Boston:
Our Vision: That every student will realize their full potential with ample opportunities to develop a strong sense of self, think critically, form constructive relationships, and make responsible decisions. PSELI is a partnership between Boston Public Schools and Boston After School & Beyond with support from the PEAR Institute, CASEL, and local SEL content advisors. Together we support schools and community partners to create a whole day focused on supporting the whole child.
Our Goal: To create high quality, seamless social and emotional learning experiences for Boston Public Schools students through the entire learning day from school year to summer.
Our Definition of SEL: The teaching, development, and application of:
We believe that social and emotional skills are manifested in behaviors and knowledge that students and adults can use any time and in any setting. This is grounded in our jointly developed, research-informed framework Portrait of a Social-Emotional Learner. The Portrait codifies the way in which we describe social and emotional learning as a cross-institutional partnership, aligning directly to each organization’s individual SEL definition and giving our community a shared language when engaging in the work.
The support Boston provides to PSELI sites focuses on ensuring students are ready for success, and that both school and community educators are primed to work together to support student success.
- Co-Director: Shaunda Lewis, Program Director, Social & Emotional Learning
- General Questions: Lauren McCabe, Program Associate, Social & Emotional Learning
- OST Site Support: Eliza Halmo, OST Manager, Social & Emotional Learning