Resolution on Social and Emotional Learning and Awareness

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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Whereas, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process for helping children and adults acquire and effectively apply the fundamental skills that support their success in life. These skills include recognizing and managing emotions, developing empathy for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, setting and achieving positive goals, and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL); and

Whereas, A health pandemic or natural disaster amplifies the concerns of basic needs of food, housing, and employment; pandemic-related anxiety, fear, stress and worry; isolation; coping opportunities; increased screen time; routine change creating sleep, emotion, memory, attention and concentration issues; abuse and neglect; substance use and abuse; death and grieving; suicidal thoughts and behavior; health problems; and pre-pandemic/disaster issues; and

Whereas, Establishment of an SEL education program provides additional and worthwhile skills in the development and implementation of health, safety and wellness; including but not limited to mental health issues, a focus on violence-free environments through education, community, family, and children-oriented programs, collaborations and partnerships; and

Whereas, SEL provides engagement over the life-long learning involvement in prevention programs including understanding of self-identity, acceptance, belonging, goal-oriented, accomplishments, and violence; therefore, be it

Whereas, That National PTA and its constituent associations are encouraged to advocate for appropriate laws, policies, and regulations to ensure that Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an integral part of pre-K–12 learning environment and is supported through an increased investment in federal and state funding; and be it further

That National PTA and its constituent associations will work with students, families, educators and mental health practitioners to provide awareness and assessment standards, to implement instruction and school SEL culture, including staff wellbeing, to support home environments through telehealth and/or conventional methods; and be it further

, That National PTA and its constituent associations recommend and encourage
professional development opportunities and collaboration among mental health practitioners and education leaders to research, develop, provide and publish quality resources and standards for the early identification and intervention of multi-tier systems of social and emotional deficiencies; and be it further

Resolved, That the National PTA and its constituent associations encourage families, teachers, students, and community members to work collaboratively within their school districts for the purpose of research, study, strategic planning, and implementation of SEL, when developing student educational plans and curriculum; and be it further

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent associations strongly urge that SEL programs and opportunities are fully accessible to all families, students and educators ensuring that everyone feels safe, secure, and free of stigma.

Adopted: by the 2021 Convention Delegates