The Ohio State Board of Education (SBOE) has adopted a new strategic plan for education called Each Child, Our Future. The plan outlines the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) goal of increasing annually the percentage of Ohio high school graduates who, one year after graduation, are serving in the military, earning a living wage, engaged in a meaningful and self-sustaining vocation, or are enrolled and succeeding in a post-high school learning program.
The plan identifies four equal learning domains that contribute to the holistic success of a child. These include foundational knowledge and skills, well-rounded content, leadership and reasoning skills and social-emotional learning.
Recently, SBOE released new Social and Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) that bolster the social-emotional learning domain and aim to prepare Ohio students for postsecondary life by helping them build self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making skills. The standards are broken down by grade bands (k-3, 3-5, middle school and high school) and provide a continuum of development in each of the five competencies listed above. The standards are for all students, kindergarten through grade 12, with the understanding that each child develops at his or her own rate.
Implementation of the SELs will not be mandatory, and ODE will not develop or require assessments to measure students’ progress in developing the skills highlighted in the learning standards. Rather, schools and districts have the freedom to decide the extent to which it uses these standards, and whether and how to measure the extent to which students are making progress. ODE is developing free online tools for teachers and parents to use in schools and at home to help students to achieve the competencies laid out in the standards.
For more information regarding SEL, the history of its development and adoption, or more about the standards themselves, please visit the SEL resource page on the ODE website.
*OSBA wishes to thank Capital University Law School student and OSBA intern Gamaliel Narvaez for his contributions to this article.