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Natomas Unified: Getting Real About Social Emotional Learning

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

And scratching our heads of why it takes a pandemic to provide targeted social-emotional supports for students....(in general hella ish we let happen that this panorama has unearthed as either "can be done" or "don't need to be that way")

(Thanks Krystal Pickett for this update)

WHAT IS THE AGENDA ITEM YOU ARE GIVING FEEDBACK ON (IF ANY)? XII Presentation, XII.a. Addressing Learning Disruption and Recovery 18 month Plan


To open the meeting, board members shared their reports. Perhaps the most striking report came from President Susan Heredia. She reported on conferences and meeting she attended over the past weeks one of which was, AERA- American Education Research Association is an international organization the dives into research surrounding an array of matters pertaining to education. Heredia noted the focus this was year was equity, diversity and inclusion as well as culture relevancy in education.

This was refreshing to hear, we look forward to that research being translated into practices and pathways with in the schools. Additionally, she was recently appointed by Governor Newsom as Commission on Teacher Credentialing. This is significant as Heredia noted one of the objectives she is tasked with is "looking at assessments ..."

Are assessments necessary because they can "Prevent the exact individuals we want in this district from teaching our kids." As a result, there is legislation that is proposing to revaluate these assessments that prevent historically excluded and disenfranchised individuals from becoming teachers.

2. The 18 month plan to addresses learning disruption presented by the Office of Chief Academic Officer

Since Jan/Feb the District has research how to support students who are struggling from the learning disruption due to the pandemic. They now have a plan. One tool they are using is the Co-vitality assessment (basically a survey on how students are doing socially and emotionally). Ten social workers have been hired to ensure the District can meet these needs. The goal is to continue to support children at grade level and providing supports needed along the way. Through these initial phases actions that have been taken and may need to be replicated are : monitoring and tracking attendance and using that for targeted outreach to the students who need care, and multi-tiered systems of supports. Most of actions were based on family feedback such as WIN (When Ever I Need ) and extended day tutoring. Another important idea is "Catch Up Time" in which secondary students were able to pause and make up missing assignments.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE? ARE THERE IMPORTANT NEXT STEPS ON THIS ISSUE? WHAT SHOULD SJPC READERS DO? Next steps, include determining how the CoVitality Assessment or a similar tool can be used to asses the social/emotional and physical welfare of students between age Tk-3rd, as in its current form it is used for 4th through-12th grade.

Also, how will District ensure that teachers and other staff are deepening relationships with families/children? But really why have they not implemented this practice before since this research pertaining to relationship based program models have been available for some time?

We also gotta keep an eye out on how assistance for learning disruption strategies will be individualized for families with non traditional work hours? How do we translate academic learning loss without making it remedial while also making it individual? It will require out of the box thinking and strategies! How can we extend these strategies for success in secondary school beyond COVID? That. Part.

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