Anchorage School District

Anchorage, Alaska

Number of Students: 47,000

Number of Schools: 130

Anchorage School District’s commitment to the social emotional needs of their students began over two decades ago. “Social emotional learning is at the heart of education in the Anchorage School District. We know from research that teacher-student relationships have a meaningful impact on academic growth. When we start by building strong relationships between teachers and students and between students, then we create a safe environment for students to learn and apply SEL skills such as knowing their own strengths, taking another’s perspective, communicating effectively, setting and achieving goals, and persevering. “These skills help us achieve our mission of educating all students for success in life,” says Superintendent, Dr. Denna Bishop. All schools in the district use the SEL Climate and Connectedness Survey and the SEL/Behavior Support Implementation Plan in order to achieve systemic implementation of social emotional learning initiatives. Every school has a leadership team that plans and adjusts implementation of SEL at their school. The district has even embedded SEL instructional strategies into principal training and district leadership meetings. ASD works to implement SEL through: climate, direct instruction and infusion. Climate refers to building safe and respectful learning environments, direct instruction refers to using a variety of programs to explicitly teach SEL skills and infusion refers to the integration of SEL principles throughout instruction. A Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) approach integrates SEL curriculum and strategies to support positive behavior.  ASD has also published a K-12 Instructional Practice which describes how to infuse SEL into Positive Classroom Behavior Management.

Learn more about ASD’s social emotional learning initiatives here.