TAUNTON — Superintendent John Cabral, Director of Student Services and Transportation and Title IX Coordinator Kathy Perry, Psychologist Dr. Linda Watt and Special Education Director Judy Mulrooney are pleased to share that Taunton Public Schools received a $10,000 grant to assess the social-emotional functioning of students.
The $10,000 grant was awarded to the district to be used in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school year by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The funding will be used for the SELIS survey, which are online surveys for students in grades four, five, eight and 10 based on CASEL core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
Taunton Public Schools was one of 10 districts across the Commonwealth to be selected to participate in the SELIS pilot program.
Surveys will be administered to students this month and the analysis of the data will take place afterward. The data will allow the district to assess students across varying grade levels and schools in the CASEL competencies. The data will then be used to address areas in need of support as well as further assist in the implementation of social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum into the classrooms.
Additionally, the district can use the intersectionality of the data with data the district already collects to determine additional supports that may be needed. These areas may include attendance, supplemental educational services, discipline and other measures.
“Due to this grant funding, we will be able to incorporate this important survey and additional social-emotional learning aspects into our previously existing SEL curriculum,” Dr. Watt said. “With SELIS surveying, our district can learn more about the social-emotional needs of our students and how we can best address those needs during these stressful and challenging times.”
Following the survey, Taunton Public Schools will look to further implement Tier 1 interventions across all classrooms within the district. Tier 1 will include embedding SEL into the curriculum and implementing restorative practices on a consistent basis. The survey will also assist with future discussions of Tier 2 SEL interventions at a systemic level.
The district anticipates participating in the SELIS program next year as well. If so, the survey is expected to be conducted three times throughout the academic year. During the second year, administration will be trained in the scoring and data collection components. This will grant the district the ability to analyze the district’s survey data, which in turn will make the survey become sustainable for the future and will allow for a broader use.