How Districts are Supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Needs Right Now

In this episode, we reconnect with Debra Giacolone, the Director of Student Services for Sarasota County School District in Sarasota, Florida, and Dr. Crystal Ladwig the Director of Research and Development for Suite360, a social-emotional learning provider that partners with districts across the country.

When Jean Sharp, Chief Academic Officer at Apex Learning, last spoke with Debra and Crystal in an Opportunity Thrives episode last fall, they raised concerns about the health and well-being of our students, particularly in these times of lockdowns and school closure. We revisit this conversation and they share the unfortunate reality that there has been a significant rise in mental health concerns as students grapple with isolation, anxiety, depression, and trauma.

We discuss opportunities to support students despite these challenges, how Sarasota County is addressing student and educator wellbeing, and what Crystal is seeing with other districts across the country. Regardless of the challenges, they share a message of hope for the future and practical guidance other district leaders should consider as they navigate how to best support the social and emotional needs of our students and educators.