SEL Circle - Social Awareness Deep Dive

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District Hall

75 Northern Avenue

Boston, MA 02210

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Dear Partners,

This school year, made possible by the Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI) Boston, Boston After School & Beyond (BASB) is launching the BASB Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Circle. The “SEL Circle” is a space for our program partners to engage in learning and best practice sharing around social and emotional skill development, build their own social and emotional skills as youth workers and educators, explore the evolving landscape of SEL in Boston, and support each other as practitioners of SEL. All activities in the SEL Circle are meant to supplement the intensive, differentiated work happening at targeted schools and community programs in PSELI Boston, with opportunities for all of our stakeholders to engage in learning of SEL content and connection with local SEL professionals.

Based on PSELI Boston’s Portrait of a Social-Emotional Learner, content in the SEL Circle will focus on interpersonal, intrapersonal, and applied skill development. This year’s activities will focus heavily on building interpersonal skills in both young people and adults, as well as building adult capacity to facilitate SEL. We will dive deep into the specific interpersonal skill of social awareness, which will be the topic of this kick-off event on October 29th.

During this session, participants will:

  • Learn historical context of how the SEL skill of social awareness has been defined and cultivated in young people
  • Explore the varying social dynamics and systems in relation to power, privilege, and racial equity present and prevalent in our communities
  • Explore why and how self-awareness is key to being socially aware
  • Engage in discussion around how and why social awareness is connected to being true SEL champions for the young people and greater communities we serve

Agenda

8:30 am Breakfast & Networking

9:00 am Introductions, Welcoming Ritual, Overview of SEL Circle

9:35 am Understanding SEL & Unpacking SEL and Equity

11:00 am BREAK

11:10 am DCPS Case Study - Implementing SEL and Equity

11:30 am Social Awareness Deep Dive: Unpacking Racism

12:00 pm Social Awareness Deep Dive: Defining Racism & Equity

12:35 pm Working Lunch

1:30 pm Optimistic Closure: SELCircle Moving Forward

Facilitator Biographies

C. Payal Sharma (she/her/hers) is a racial justice consultant, facilitator, and trainer, who believes in the power of empathy, knowledge, courage, and action to create lasting equity. She has over 15 years of experience in the Boston area leading workshops, trainings, and facilitated conversations. Having partnered with numerous Boston Public Schools, organizations, state agencies, and corporations, Payal works closely and intentionally with groups to “move the needle” - individually and collectively.

Bloodine Barthelus began her journey in the field of education as a School Counselor after working as an Intake Counselor conducting psychiatric assessments supporting individuals experiencing acute mental health crisis. As a school counselor, she was successful in developing programmatic solutions which supported increased student achievement and growth in several high poverty schools in Tulsa Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, and Alexandria City Public Schools. She transitioned to the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in 2012 where she worked as a Student Discipline and School Climate specialist and supported schools with increasing their understanding and application of progressive discipline when needed and developing effective systems to help minimize student infractions. She assumed the role of Manager of School Climate in 2015 where she led the development and implementation of a new School Climate Initiative with 20 of DCPS’ most challenged schools focused on effective systems, warm and engaging relationships within schools, and explicit SEL opportunities for students. The initiative helped school leaders and their teams develop school climate plans patterned after the newly created DCPS School Climate Guide in SY 15/16, which promotes an intentional approach towards developing positive, engaging, and welcoming learning environments. At the culmination of the initiative, 73 DCPS schools had been a part of the School Climate Initiative, which has been shown to support a decrease in suspensions and increasing student satisfaction.

Bloodine most recently served as the Director of School Climate and Social Emotional Learning (SEL), where she led DCPS’ work around student behavior, bullying prevention, Restorative Justice, the School Climate Initiative, and SEL. During her time as director, she led the development of a 5-year districtwide SEL implementation plan, designed adult SEL PD sessions for teachers and school leaders designed to create common language and understanding of SEL, co-created an SEL module designed to support teachers with developing equitable Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) learning spaces, and led the launch of SEL for all schools through an integrated and supported process. Throughout her tenure in education, her passion has consistently brought effective systems and care into schools which supported leveling the playing field and increasing equity for students who have been historically furthest from opportunity. She holds a Master of Human Relations with a concentration in Counseling from the University of Oklahoma and a Doctorate of Education from the College of William and May where her research focus was on The Relationship Between Student Infractions and Social Emotional Learning.

Jamaal Williams strives to serve others and to help them unlock their full potential. A native of Queens, NY, he graduated from Cornell University and has used his talents in service-learning programming, group facilitation, and professional development throughout his career. Jamaal served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year for two years. Afterwards, he served as the National Recruitment Director for City Year, informing City Year's strategy to recruit talented and diverse AmeriCorps members to serve as tutors, mentors, and role models in 28 cities across the country. He is now a SEL Support Coach for The PEAR Institute, supporting schools and youth programs in building their capacity for social-emotional learning and development.


Please reach out to Lauren at lmccabe@bostonbeyond.org or Shaunda at slewis@bostonbeyond.org with any questions you may have.

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District Hall

75 Northern Avenue

Boston, MA 02210

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