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Incorporating SEL for Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education

Thursday, October 14, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Incorporating SEL for Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education

Presented by Dr. David Schuler, Superintendent, High School District 214 (IL); Vanessa Buitrago, Principal, School of Engineering and Sciences, Sacramento City Unified School District (CA); and Jennifer Wells, Social-Emotional Learning and Student Development Coordinator, Round Lake Area School District (IL)
Moderated by Jessica Berlinski, Director of K-12, Ripple Effects; and Takeru Nagayoshi, Panorama Education Professional Learning Director of Community Events and 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

Sponsored by Ripple Effects & Panorama Education

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation. Get a CE Certificate for this edWebinar Learn more

The National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education—a collective of superintendents, as well as thought leaders in education, community and philanthropy convened by AASA, The School Superintendents Association—recently released their vision for how education must change to improve outcomes for ALL learners.

Watch Commission member 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year and High School District 214 Superintendent, Dr. David Schuler, as he outlines this critically important redesign work. Sacramento City USD Principal, Vanessa Buitrago, and Round Lake Area School District SEL and Student Development Coordinator, Jennifer Wells, also share how their current work in SEL is helping them move closer to educational equity and realizing this vision.

The presenters share:

  • The three essential components of systemic redesign
  • How to achieve a relationships-based culture that is whole-learner focused and future driven
  • What a social-emotional and cognitive growth model is, and the role of data, planning, learning and evidence of learning
  • The role of student-directed, adaptive programs in meeting every student’s unique SEL needs
  • Why and how to begin to unlock resources in the areas of MTSS, early education, creating a diverse educator pipeline and tech access for all

School and district administrators will learn concrete steps they can take now to better meet each student’s unique needs, as well as how to use real-time data and innovative tools to improve culture and climate, academics, and behavior.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to superintendents, school and district leaders of preK through high school grade levels, and those involved in social-emotional learning and equity work.


David SchulerAbout the Presenters

Dr. David Schuler is the 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year. Known for his ability to inspire and build leaders, he spearheaded Redefining Ready!, the national movement to redefine what it means for students to be college, career and life ready while serving as the 2015-2016 President of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Dr. Schuler has served 21 years as a superintendent, 16 of them currently leading High School District 214, Illinois’ largest high school district. There, he’s led the development of an innovative instructional philosophy around personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways, early college credit, and industry credentials that enable students to discover their futures while still in high school. Dr. Schuler earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Follow Dr. Schuler on Twitter @D214_Supt.


Vanessa Buitrago

Vanessa Buitrago has worked in education for 15 years, with her first two years as a political science instructor at San Diego State University. In 2008, she joined the Sacramento City Unified School District team where she proudly served the students, families, and staff for 13 years in various capacities: special education teacher, WASC and site instruction coordinator at Rosemont High School, special education supervisor, assistant principal at John F. Kennedy High School, and principal at School of Engineering and Sciences (SES).

Vanessa has been fortunate to have a team at SES that values meaningful professional development designed to address trauma-informed practices and social-emotional learning. By establishing that addressing the social-emotional needs of every student in a safe and supportive school setting is a priority, they have been able to focus attention and resources on achieving that goal. Coincidentally, although it is in the interest of the students that they commit to this work, they are not the only ones who benefit; the staff members walk away each day with a better understanding of themselves, the general human condition, and the population they serve.


Jennifer Wells

Jennifer Wells serves as the social-emotional learning and student development coordinator at Round Lake Area School District in Illinois. In her role, she supports the district’s mission to cultivate resourceful, resilient citizens by teaching social and emotional learning skills in a nurturing academic environment.



Jessica BerlinskiAbout the Moderators

Jessica Berlinski is the director of K-12 for Ripple Effects, an innovative social-change enterprise focused on leveraging personalized SEL to improve students’ behavior and academics and achieve educational equity. She brings over a decade of experience leading organizations dedicated to supporting the “whole child” through academic and SEL tools and programs to her work. Jessica co-founded and served as Chief Impact Officer of SEL tech start-ups, If You Can and Centervention (formerly Personalized Learning Games). In these roles, she commercialized the first evidence-based SEL assessment and learning game for K-12, and the first SEL iPad game for the consumer marketplace. Previously, she served as Managing Director of GameDesk, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded non-profit focused on innovative learning models, and as National Director of Character Counts. Jessica speaks on technology and SEL at education and social-change conferences nationally, and her work has been featured on National Public Radio, and in Forbes and Newsweek. She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in philosophy, with a focus on ethics and philosophy of religion.


Takeru NagayoshiTakeru Nagayoshi was named the 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year for his work as an advanced placement English teacher at New Bedford High School and is among five educators chosen to receive the NEA Foundation’s Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence. Takeru currently leads Panorama Education’s professional learning community events that reach an audience of over 10,000 educators and leaders.


Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the Social-Emotional Learning community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Ripple EffectsRipple Effects is the only digital SEL and mental health program for students and staff that is proven to improve student behavior, academics and SEL skills, and reduce drop-out rates and depression scores. The CASEL aligned Ripple Effects program empowers K-12 learners to build resiliency assets around their personal needs and traumas via over 400 interactive lessons (e.g. anxiety, loneliness, getting help, unplanned change, substance abuse.)


Panorama EducationWith research-backed surveys and a leading MTSS platform, Panorama Education partners with K-12 schools and districts across the country to act on data about social-emotional learning, academic outcomes, school climate, family engagement, and more.

Ripple Effects

Panorama Education


Thursday, October 14, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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