Collaborating Districts Initiative

CASEL (Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning) is teaming with large urban school districts to implement district-wide SEL. AISD is among the first three districts in the country to participate, along with Anchorage and Cleveland. Austin was selected for its districtwide commitment, vision and leadership in support of SEL.

Goals of the Initiative

The operational focus of CASEL’s Collaborating Districts Initiative is to help each participating district
accomplish the following:

  • Develop a vision and action plan for implementing and sustaining SEL programming district‐wide.
  • Establish student learning standards for SEL from preschool through 12th grade.
  • Provide ongoing SEL professional development for school leaders and staff
  • Adopt evidence‐based SEL programs for all students
  • Develop an SEL‐focused structure to coordinate student support services and academic learning
  • Cultivate a district‐wide culture of caring and respect
  • Collect and use data to evaluate and improve its SEL efforts.

Austin, Texas

District overview

The Austin Independent School District (AISD) is the fifth largest in Texas, serving approximately 86,000 students in 124 schools. As both the state capital and the home of one of the nation’s most prestigious public universities, Austin is an education-oriented community, and Austin’s philanthropic leaders have been highly supportive of social and emotional learning.

Austin has a particularly strong and effective approach to positive school climate at the elementary level. Although relatively new to social and emotional learning, the district has articulated a vision for social and emotional learning focused on systemic implementation.

During the 2011-12 school year, AISD created the position of director of social and emotional learning, established a new department of social and emotional learning, and began to support the CDI with other key staff positions and assignments.

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