Giving Compass' Take:

· According to a new survey from RAND Corp., 75 percent of principals say that their schools have begun to prioritize building social-emotional skills in students. 

· How can donors help schools incorporate more whole-child initiatives? What are some approaches schools have taken? Why are social and emotional skills important?

· Here's more on this topic and why social and emotional skills are crucial to youth development.

Almost three-fourths of principals say developing students’ social and emotional skills is either their school’s top priority or one of the top goals, according to new results from the American Educator Panels, an ongoing project of the RAND Corp.

The surveys of both teachers and school leaders, however, showed teachers place more importance than principals on students developing specific skills, such as understanding and managing emotions, showing empathy, and setting and achieving positive goals.

“Although we can’t know for sure, one hypothesis is that the difference stems from the fact that teachers spend more time than principals interacting directly with students," Laura Hamilton, the lead author of the report, said in an email. "Teachers, therefore, might be more attuned to the skills that students bring to school and the need for students to develop and apply these skills in the classroom."

But principals were more likely than teachers to strongly agree that social-emotional learning (SEL) programs can lead to improvement in other areas, such as student achievement, school climate and student behavior.

The survey responses come as advocates for SEL in school are hopeful that they will see additional resources from the federal government for these programs. The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations has released a fiscal year 2020 budget proposal that includes $260 million for SEL and “whole-child” approaches.

Read the full article about building social-emotional skills by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive.