Duluth, MN: School district to get social-emotional learning specialists

Sept 26, 2017, Duluth News Tribune: Duluth adds social-emotional learning specialists to two schools Meditation, breathing exercises and classroom nooks that feel cozy and safe. These are some of the tools being used in two Duluth elementary schools this year as part of efforts to reduce behavior issues and increase attendance. The Duluth school district's Office of Education Equity is using some of its state funding to pay for social-emotional learning (SEL) specialists, one housed at Lowell and one at Myers-Wilkins. The idea is that the people in these positions — both who are licensed social workers — will not only work with kids one on one and in small groups, but also with entire classrooms and their teachers. "That person helps everyone be more responsive to the social and emotional needs of children and families," said William Howes, coordinator of the education equity office. "It's slow, but we change more in that way." … In school, learning is not only about acquiring knowledge and skills in academic areas, "but also managing emotions and frustrations in ways that allow someone to learn, and getting along well with others in order to engage in learning tasks," Jones said. … The long-term hope, Baczkiewicz said, is that every school has a SEL specialist.