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New Albany-Plain Local School District Assesses Students’ Social-Emotional Competencies

NAPLS enlisted Hanover Research to measure the efficacy of their SEL strategies by surveying student SEL competencies.

The Challenge: Evaluate Social-Emotional Learning Processes

The New Albany-Plain Local School District (NAPLS), one of the top 10% of K–12 districts in Ohio, seeks to create a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student. Starting in June 2019, the Ohio State Department of Education adopted social-emotional learning (SEL) standards to guide districts in evaluating students’ SEL proficiency. NAPLS wanted to evaluate their own SEL offerings to ensure they were best meeting the social-emotional needs of their students. Jon Hood, Director of Student Services, Safety & Security explains, “The State of Ohio has begun embracing the idea that, in addition to measuring foundational skills like reading and math, districts should also measure students’ SEL competencies. These competencies have always been at the heart of our district, but now that they are included on the state report card, we’re leaning in hard to measure this and see if students are improving. We must measure if we’re doing well so students can fully engage in their academic performance.”

“It’s important to us to measure if we’re doing well so students can fully engage in their academic performance.”

Jon Hood
Director of Student Services, Safety & Security

The Solution: Survey Students in Grades 3–12

NAPLS enlisted Hanover Research to measure the efficacy of their SEL strategies by conducting a survey of student SEL competencies.

Research Goals

  • Determine if students feel that their school provides a supportive and inclusive culture
  • Measure students’ level of emotional intelligence and resilience in areas such as determination, wellness, confidence, compassion, and ethics
  • Gauge if students have at least one staff member they feel comfortable approaching with problems

Methodology

Hanover Research designed and administered a survey to NAPLS students across grades 3 through 12 to assess their SEL performance on feelings of support, student resilience, cultural acceptance, wellness, confidence, compassion, ethics, emotional intelligence, emotional disposition, and anxiety. Hanover’s survey broke down each SEL focus area into several statements, presented on a five-point agreement Likert scale to allow students to express how much they agreed or disagreed with each statement.

The study found that NAPLS students were well-equipped with positive character traits, skills, and resources/ supports overall. However, while strong on most indicators, the results showed room for improvement in areas related to anxiety, stress, and emotional intelligence.

Based on the findings, Hanover recommended that NAPLS focus on providing students with further guidance in coping skills and emotional self-awareness and opportunities in the classroom to learn about other cultures.

new albany-plain local school district

Mr. Hood reports, “We have really appreciated our partnership with Hanover, particularly in being able to do longitudinal work—we like being able to look at work from years ago to see school improvement shown through data-driven insights. The survey team has given us solid research that we can lean on to make informed decisions driven by what our community is showing and saying; we plan to use these survey results to see how we can best support our students in their social-emotional learning. We’ve done substance use, SEL, and staff climate surveys with Hanover, and have found that our partnership helps us be better at what we do.”

“We have really appreciated our partnership with Hanover, particularly in being able to do longitudinal work—we like being able to look at work from years ago to see school improvement shown through data-driven insights.”

Jon Hood
Director of Student Services, Safety & Security

The Outcome: Guidance in coping skills, emotional self-awareness, and cultural learning opportunities

Informed by Hanover’s SEL survey analysis, the New Albany-Plain Local School District:

  • Plans to direct significant resources to identified SEL needs, specific management of anxiety and stress
  • Seeks to learn more strategies for supporting students struggling with stress and anxiety
  • Plans to launch a mentor program to increase the number of students who feel they have an adult they trust and can turn to for help
new albany-plain local school district
District/School

New Albany-Plain Local School District

Enrollment

5,050

Location

New Albany, OH

Website
Hanover Solution

Social-Emotional Learning Survey

The State of SEL in K-12

Based on more than 15,000 responses, this report examines the current state of social-emotional learning across K–12 education.

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