Supporting the social, emotional, and academic development of students is more important than ever given the experiences of the past year and a half. Yet, too often the approach to supporting student well-being is to adopt programs dedicated to teaching social and emotional skills before first addressing the learning environments and learning experiences of students. This can lead to racist tropes about how students of color must simply learn to manage their emotions and behavior in order to succeed, rather than holistic efforts to integrate identity development, academic learning, and well-being. States in particular have a powerful role to play in ensuring districts create positive learning environments.

In this session, we will preview a series of state-level policy scans to be publicly release soon that examine how states are (or are not) ensuring schools and districts approach social, emotional, and academic development with a race-equity lens.