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updated: 9/20/2012 11:45 PM

District 214 implements social-emotional learning goal

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Northwest Suburban High School District 214 will start considering factors of social and emotional learning as part of a districtwide goal approved by the school board on Thursday.

According to district officials, District 214 is the first in the state to implement a quantifiable, measurable social-emotional learning goal from the school board.

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A way to chart student progress other than test scores, the social-emotional learning goal looks to "increase student learning through engagement and innovative programs to ensure students will develop self-awareness, self-management, interpersonal and decision-making skills to establish and maintain positive relationships and achieve school and life success," according to board documents.

Over the past year a committee looked at the feasibility of developing a social-emotional goal and how it could best be worded.

"It's nice to see this as part of our goals. That gives it the strength of the board behind it to show how important it is," said board member Dan Petro. "I have some questions about how we're going to measure and evaluate this, so that will be interesting to see."

Other board members said they look forward to seeing the data brought in over time.

Some ways that progress will be measured:

• The percentage of school days attended compared to the previous year.

• The number of major and minor infractions per 100 students each quarter compared to the same quarter from the previous year.

• The number of students per 100 participating in at least one or more co-curricular activity.

Officials also will look at the overall percentage of students competitively employed or enrolled in some type of postsecondary institution within one year of leaving high school, compared to the previous year.

"This allows us to look at the entire student and what makes them successful," said Adam Clayton, division head for special education at Elk Grove High School.

Each school in the district will be responsible for implementing and showing progress toward the goal, which will be reviewed annually.

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