In November, the Sacramento County Office of Education presented on the CalHOPE Student Support: California Social-Emotional Learning Community of Practice. Their partners in the work include the Orange County Department of Education, the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA).
The presentation began with their “why”: pre-pandemic data showed a gap between mental health needs and support, and the pandemic has exacerbated these gaps not just for students, but for their teachers and adult support networks. To close these gaps, they focus on schools as the unit of change, focusing on building the capacity of county offices to provide prevention, awareness, and intervention support for students and adults through a Community of Practice (CoP) model, called CalHOPE Student Support.
The goals of this Community of Practice include building a shared understanding of key concepts; developing a statewide network that allows County Offices of Education (COEs) to share best practices; creating, vetting, and sharing high quality resources, modeling structures and activities COEs can use in their county CoPs; and showcasing successful SEL efforts. The presentation focused on two phases:
Phase 1 was called “Come Y’all,” and distributed information, skills, and resources throughout the state. All 58 California COEs were engaged and therefore served over 6 million students. Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Phase 2 is called “Stay Y’all,” and will focus on digging more deeply into the work. This will include deeper SEL penetration into districts, schools, and classrooms and individualized support, including planning, implementation, and continuous improvement.