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Designing Education With Social Emotional Learning: Why & How

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 113C

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Director of School Counseling
Colgan HS, Prince William County Schools
Claire Handville is the Director of School Counseling at Colgan High School in Prince William County, VA. She believes in embedding social emotional learning into school curriculum and culture so that students and staff can find meaning and belonging. Only when students and staff feel valued and supported can we improve school outcomes. Claire is intentional in finding ways to integrate technology and podcasting to enhance communication and connection leading to cultivated community. She is an avid reader and a die-hard Florida Gator fan.
Student Success Coordinator
Charles J. Colgan High School
Mr. Billy is the technology coach at Colgan HS.His career began as a special education teacher at PACE West School, followed as the instructional technology coach at Ellis Elementary School, and opened Colgan High School, a school with a fine and performing arts specialty program. Mr. Watts is passionate about mentoring students to build healthy relationships, developing student voice through digital communication, and working with educators to connect the classroom to impact in the outside world. He is a giant AV nerd and does a decent Cookie Monster impression.

Session description

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the tool to design and transform education. As the connecting thread, uniting and engaging stakeholders, SEL integrates vision and purpose, aligns values with systemic goals and fosters an inclusive community. Join us to workshop plans that integrate SEL and technology to improve well-being and academic achievement.

Purpose & objective

Education today needs a redesign. Students are calling out the system for not working. Educators are feeling stuck, trapped between one fire and the next. Before we can focus on academic improvement and reducing absenteeism, we must embed individual meaning into both content curriculum and school culture. Students and staff must be given opportunities for experiences aligning with values and goals, alongside people moving in the same direction.

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2 mins- Opening & Introductions
10 mins- Why Redesign Education
30 mins- How to embed SEL into classroom content, with stories of implementation, research, SEL skills, and outcomes
5 mins- Ideas for partnering with families
10 mins- Where do we go from here? Interactive crowdsource for additional items
5 mins- Questions & Comments

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Supporting research

Design thinking (University of Stanford, including Designing Your Life & Designing Your Work Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans and all the books (

Belonging by Geoffrey Cohen

Virginia Department of Education SEL standards:

US Department of Education- Equity & SEL work

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Session specifications

Social emotional learning
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
ISTE Standards:
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
  • Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.
For Education Leaders:
Systems Designer
  • Lead teams to collaboratively establish robust infrastructure and systems needed to implement the strategic plan.