Ready for School-Connect but not sure how or where to start? The Implementation Toolkit will help guide you to effective implementation.
STEP 1: Form a Leadership Team
Who should lead the effort? How are decisions made?
- Recruit members who represent different stakeholders - administrators, teachers, support staff, students - and who share an
- interest in social and emotional skill building.
- Keep the team small and manageable (3-4 members); once it is assembled, add teachers who will implement the program.
- Clarify the decision-making process within the team and with the administrator who has final approval of the implementation plan.
STEP 2: Define Program Needs and Goals
What are you trying to accomplish? And why?
- Conduct a needs assessment that includes:
- School data (absentee and tardy rates, discipline incidents, standardized test scores, GPA, course failures, retention and graduation rates)
- State and district mandates (violence prevention, AYP, API)
- Student and teacher surveys. Click to the Evaluation Toolkit for survey options.
- Use your data to:
- Define measurable and attainable long- and short-term goals (attitudinal, behavioral, academic); See Evaluation Plan Matrix Sample, Column 1 for examples.
- Decide what grade levels and/or student groups should receive the lessons.
STEP 3: Design an Implementation Plan
What? When? Where? Who? How?
- Brainstorm and evaluate implementation options (e.g., freshman seminar, student advisory, academic integration).
- Select or design an implementation model, taking into account class schedule, budget, and teacher availability.
- Identify teachers with interest and experience in School-Connect objectives who would be available to teach School-Connect. Identify a lead teacher to
- guide and support the other teachers.
- Design a scope and sequence (which lessons are taught with what frequency and over what period of time) given your class schedule, student population,
- and goals. Use the School-Connect Implementation Plan as a guide.
- Create a budget to cover materials (one curriculum per teacher, workbooks if teaching all lessons) and staff compensation, if applicable.
- Research funding options.
- Create a plan for preparing teachers to implement the curriculum.
- Consider piloting the program in one or two classes before implementing it on a larger scale.
- Share the implementation plan with administration and staff.
STEP 4: Initiate and Monitor Implementation
Ready? Set. Go!
- Supply one School-Connect manual per teacher.
- Prepare handouts (choose option below):
- Student workbooks
- Copy handouts from handout master (included in each lesson)
- Print handouts from CD- (included in Module 1-4 binder)
- Many schools recommend making all handouts at the beginning of the quarter or semester, rather than daily or weekly.
- Prepare teachers to implement the program.
- Ask teachers to use the School-Connect Teacher Reflection Survey to reflect on their lesson implementation.
- Check in with the students and staff.
STEP 5: Evaluate Program Effects
Is the program being implemented effectively? Are program goals being met?
- See the School-Connect Evaluation Toolkit for assessment steps.
STEP 6: Make Course Corrections if Necessary
Is the program on track? Are any modifications needed?
- Discuss data results and feedback from students, teachers, administrators, and parents.
- Brainstorm solutions to any bumps in the road.
- Take time to acknowledge and celebrate progress; we often forge ahead without taking time to appreciate how far we've come.
- Consider writing personal thank you notes or e-mails to students and colleagues.
- Inform parents of positive behavioral changes in their children through personal notes or calls.
- Include recognition in staff meetings or school assemblies.
- Publish evaluation data and anecdotal examples in the school newsletter or local paper.
What Administrators are saying......
“I think it’s really important to have evaluation as a piece of your initiative. There’s a misconception that when we're talking about social and emotional learning, it's all touchy feely and there's no way to really get a handle on it, but with the right tools you can measure anything.”
— Lauren May, Co-chair, Student Improvement Team, Oak Lawn Community High School