The Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI)
Initiative Description: The Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI) to address fragmentation by shifting the focus of SEL implementation from schools to whole districts. The CDI is a 6-year initiative aimed at building capacity in eight large school districts to implement SEL in all school, for all students. Two districts chose to implement SEL through the established district structure of ‘vertical teams.’ One supported schoolwide implementation in 30 schools (elementary, middle, high schools). One provided training and support for SEL implementation to 26 schools (elementary, middle, high schools). One planned to implement within two of its school networks over a 3-year period. One implemented the PATHS program in elementary schools. One implemented Responsive Classroom in elementary schools. One implemented Caring School Communities and Second Step in elementary schools.
Study Results: Students provided significantly higher ratings for overall climate, overall connectedness, high expectations, school safety, peer climate, caring adults, parent and community involvement, and SEL. (b) Students indicated significantly lower levels of delinquent behavior and drug and alcohol use in their schools. (c) Higher levels of safe and respectful climate, challenge student support, and peer social and emotional climate were reported. Findings for students’ academic performance were more positive in CDI implementation years than in the three years before CDI in three districts. Findings for attendance were mixed, but outcomes for suspensions were more positive.
Reference: Kendziora, K., & Osher, D. (2016). Promoting children’s and adolescents’ social and emotional development: district adaptations of a theory of action. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 45(6), 797-811. doi:10.1080/15374416.2016.1197834
Level of Evidence: Very Good