Manistee School District strives to assess students’ socio-emotional skills

MANISTEE – Children have been through a lot of stress due to the coronavirus pandemic. This had an impact on family life, limited access to the elderly and created a very different school environment.

In response, public schools in the Manistee area improved access to health care through the Child and Adolescent Health Center, and took time in class to talk about emotional stress with SafeNET employees Tracy Shimel and Scott Solberg, according to a press release.

To help educators understand student stress levels, MAPS turned to SELweb.

“The words ‘social and emotional learning’ are found in more and more district strategic plans and school improvement plans,” SELweb’s Clark McKown said in a press release. “Students’ social and emotional development and school climate become key performance indicators alongside academic skills.”

SELweb is a web-based system designed to assess key socio-emotional skills associated with success in school and in life and which are the targets of evidence-based social-emotional learning programs. SELweb directly assesses children’s understanding of other people’s emotions and perspectives, their social problem solving skills and self-control.

“Last year I attended training through the Mason County ISD to learn how to administer the assessment and how to assess results. We did a pilot project last year with a few Kindergarten and Grade 2 classes to test the program and look at the results, ”Tracy Shimel, a SafeNET employee at Jefferson Elementary School. “This year, we fully launched a K-5 assessment in February to get an initial baseline of where students are in terms of their social and emotional understanding. We administered a job evaluation in May and saw an 11% improvement in overall scores. This is exciting news for our district.

According to the press release, the students showed growth in all areas: emotion regulation, social perspective, social problem solving and self-control.

In February, 225 Jeffersonian students participated and 212 students participated in May.

“This information helps teachers prepare for their students in the fall. Students who feel heard and understood by their classmates have better school attendance and better academic results, ”said Julia Raddatz, principal of Jefferson. “SELweb lets us know how we can meet the individual needs of students with fairness and compassion. We look forward to a more normal school year ahead, but with our eyes wide open, growing up in a pandemic has been stressful for our little ones. “

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