The July/August 2020 issue of the Illinois School Board Journal informs details what falls under the umbrella of social and emotional learning and student well-being. Read about SEL relating to the return to school and what school board members need to know about student mental health. Selected text is available below. The complete digital edition is available here.

Cover Stories

  • Understanding SEL 

    By Theresa Kelly Gegen
    Children need emotional wellness, in school and beyond, and they develop emotional wellness as they grow, which they do in times of normalcy and times of turmoil.
  • The Collaborative Change Model: A Map for Schools through COVID-19

    By Doug Bolton
    Beginnings, middles, and endings matter. These rhythms of the school year are sustaining, essential, and enduring. They provide direction to help us navigate the class period, school day, and school year.
  • Examining SEL for Emerging Bilinguals

    By Diallo Brown
    The primary reasons for the existing learning gap for EBs is the struggle to master basic English language skills while matriculating from grade to grade, as well as the lack of opportunity to converse in English outside of school. This poses social and emotional trauma on these students, which can be addressed with social and emotional learning supports. 
  • 14 Ways for School Boards to Improve School Mental Health

    By Jennifer Ulie-Wells
    There is a mental health epidemic facing schools across the nation. Comprehensive school mental health systems build the foundations for schools to be able to create thriving environments and develop sustainable supports. A school board is a vital partner to improve the mental health of our students, staff, and families.

Feature Articles

Regular Features

  • Front Page: Finding Strength and Seeking Solutions

    By Theresa Kelly Gegen
    This unprecedented time and combination of events is forcing us to face uncomfortable truths, to question what we’ve learned about right and wrong, and to wonder if there’s a better way. Some people have no choice in facing these questions. Children, especially, do not. But for most people reading this, finding strength and seeking solutions is a choice we can make. 
  • Leadership Letter: Facing the Challenges Ahead

    By Thomas E. Bertrand
    In the midst of a pandemic and resulting unemployment that disproportionately impacts black and Latinx communities, uncertainty about whether students will return to in-person learning, and historic civil unrest, schools must be prepared to care for children impacted by what is happening in their world. While all of us are concerned about learning loss and bridging gaps resulting from the loss of in-person education, the emotional impact of these events on our children can not be overstated. 
  • From the Field: The Way Forward is Together

    By Dean Langdon
    As the spread of coronavirus continued to wreak havoc on the many honors, traditions, and rites of passage associated with learning and our communities, this district leadership team wondered, “What is best for our students and families?”
  • Policy Page: Addressing SEL Needs of Students and Stakeholders

    By Boyd Fergurson
    How can we most effectively utilize those available resources to serve the needs, including social and emotional needs, of our students and stakeholders?