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Update on HRCSD Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum adoption

Hood River County School District (HRCSD) undertook a K-12 Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum adoption this school year. A traditional adoption process may take one year; however, the HRCSD adoption team decided to extend the process into the 2022-23 school year.  The team made this decision for several reasons, most critically that the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is in the process of developing SEL standards. HRCSD needs to identify the type of SEL program that would best meet Hood River County students’ needs before it can begin looking at a specific curriculum. 

HRCSD recognizes that students need this support more than ever before. Furthermore, SEL skills cannot be instructed and developed in isolation. A goal this school year was to identify the curriculum the school district intends to implement and use that curriculum next school year as a whole-school pilot of the selected curriculum.  

Next school year, HRCSD will implement Purposeful People at elementary schools and Character Strong at the middle schools. (Purposeful People is Character Strong’s elementary program). Character Strong generated the greatest student engagement and provided more supplementary activities to incorporate into morning meetings and other times throughout the day.  

Elementary schools have a current SEL curriculum so those schools will be able to opt-in to the pilot program (Purposeful People) for the 2022-23 school year. Both middle schools will be participating in the school-wide pilot program of Character Strong. The high school will be focusing on infusing SEL skills throughout the day, school-wide.

Teachers will be participating in professional development prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year in preparation for starting the school year with the SEL curriculum.

HRCSD understands that social and emotional learning stretches beyond the school setting and is equally important in the home setting. Please look for opportunities to be involved in this work during the 2022-2023 school year.

If you are interested in learning more about the SEL curriculum or have any questions about the process, please contact Erin Rust at erin.rust@hoodriver.k12.or.us.  HRCSD is excited to continue this work and greatly appreciates all of the work families are already doing at home.