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Elmwood Students Lead Social-Emotional Learning Tour for National Educational Leaders at CASEL

Naperville 203 was honored to be selected as a site visit on social-emotional learning (SEL) for members of the board of directors and staff from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). This visit spotlighted the district’s well-established SEL program at Elmwood Elementary, recognized as a model for embedding SEL into instruction to develop essential employability skills from kindergarten through graduation. Impressed by the district’s reputation for a robust SEL implementation, CASEL staff who had previously witnessed the program in action recommended that the board members experience it firsthand. During their visit, CASEL representatives were guided by Elmwood’s own student leaders through vibrant classrooms where academic rigor meets social-emotional development. 

A standout moment came in a math class where students engaged in an exercise rolling dice to calculate sums, with a concurrent SEL focus on fair play. This integrated approach exemplifies how Elmwood seamlessly incorporates lessons on responsibility, collaboration, and resilience into everyday learning activities. The feedback from CASEL was overwhelmingly positive. "The integration of SEL at Elmwood is both inspiring and impressive,” one board member noted, reflecting on the visit. The school's environment, adorned with student work and SEL rubrics, further illustrated the welcoming and warm atmosphere that fosters both academic and personal growth.

This visit not only highlighted Elmwood’s success in embedding SEL but also underscored the critical role these skills play in preparing students for future employment. As CASEL observes, abilities like self-reflection, effective collaboration, and behavior management are indispensable in today’s workplace.

Elmwood Elementary and Naperville 203 continue to set a shining example of how schools can effectively prepare students for the challenges of the future by nurturing their minds and hearts today.