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The CES approach implements evidence-based practices designed to target and support both teachers' and children's development of skills and competencies. Research points to SEL competency development by both teachers and children as a highly effective strategy to address classroom management concerns and challenging behaviors.
We know that early social emotional learning (SEL) lays an essential foundation for academic learning and success in life. Approaches to play and learning (APL) predict improved student outcomes and are often included by experts under the umbrella term social emotional learning. SEL and APL competencies enable children to integrate thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to solve problems and achieve academic and life goals.
Schools and educators are increasingly struggling with challenging behavior and a lack of self-regulation in their very young students; but the challenge is not just to manage behavior in the classroom. CES services for preK through grade one are aimed at supporting districts to implement evidence-based best practices to ensure that children have a variety of opportunities to build the SEL competencies essential to successful engagement in classroom learning activities. We also help districts to create a work environment and educational climate that supports the social-emotional well-being of all staff, and most importantly teachers; so that they are fully engaged and able to model SEL competencies while providing effective support for children's skill development. We can also assist in modifying classroom environments, daily routines and schedules to integrate more play-based and child-directed independent learning opportunities.
Professional Development for Administrators and Teachers: District and/or building level sessions to generated shared understanding of the SEL competencies and how they develop, the research evidence for efficacy and best practices, services to be provided, and facilitated discussion of shared challenges and goals tailored to address district needs and issues.
Classroom and Curriculum Consultation: Based on planning with district curriculum leaders and principals, consultation for individual teachers and/or teams to respond to specific concerns and adjust curriculum and instruction in order to integrate optimal supports for all children to build SEL competencies.
Coaching for Teachers/Modeling Supportive Practices: Coaching and classroom support for selected teachers or teams, for integrating new SEL knowledge into practice.
Child-focused Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: Referrals of children identified as having SEL challenges, with the goal of building stronger school-family partnerships in order to improve academic and behavioral outcomes. Begins with classroom observations of the child, followed by work with teachers and parents/caregivers to help them be more successful at building on the child's strengths and meeting their needs. Referrals for mental health services for the child and/or family are provided as needed.
We are happy to offer schools and districts a free one-hour session to explore and/or begin planning around the district's needs; describe the menu of CES SEL services, answer questions; and identify the services that will best respond to a district's unique needs. This planning session can be followed by a proposal specifying services and costs. A district may decide to proceed with an individual service, or a set of services. Where needed, CES is also committed to assisting districts to the extent possible to locate and apply for funding resources for services.
Massachusetts Pre-K and K Standards for SEL and APL, developed by Massachusetts Early Education and Care (EEC), and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE)
In 2016, CES was contracted by MA EEC and ESE to develop a series of professional development curricula that introduced these new standards to over 700 early educators and caregivers.