SEBW Monthly February 2020 Edition


2020 Gratitude Calendar

Don’t believe in climate change? It’s real. And, scientifically proven.

When you infuse kindness into the workplace, you will change the climate. Period.

(You thought we were going to get political, didn’t you?) The coolest thing is that each month has a theme encouraging us to be kinder. There are six themes that are the core values for everything we do at The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (courage, caring, integrity, inclusiveness, respect and responsibility). Because there are 12 months in a year,

we’ve added another six themes (happiness, love, self-care, resilience, gratitude and celebration) that align with making the world a warmer (are you getting all my climate jokes?) and kinder place. Wondering how the calendar works? It works however YOU want it to work. No pressure. Do things as a team, or do it alone. You can do all of the ideas, some of them, or none of them! Check out the monthly team activity, or challenge your colleagues to do as many acts of kindness as possible throughout the month! Make sure it plays into your own workplace culture and best practices. Don’t feel pressured to complete every idea or activity.

The calendar is meant to inspire kindness, not be one more thing you have to do.

And don’t worry if not everyone wants to participate. Some people do kindness in their

own way and prefer to keep it quiet.

Just be you and do kindness your way. Use the calendar as a tool to help inspire and

empower you and your team!

Teach Kindness

Teach Kindness is an easy and no cost way to foster kindness and improve school climate in grades K-8. Teach Kindness offers best-in-class resources, free of charge, to teach and foster kindness over a four-week period of the school’s choosing. Teachers and other participating school staff will receive ongoing access to outstanding kindness-building lesson plans following the successful completion of Teach Kindness. By teaching kids how to practice kindness, be more empathetic, and manage their emotions and actions, they become better equipped to navigate our complex world. Click here to read more about how your school can participate.

Employability Skills

Indiana’s Employability Skills Standards allow students to be prepared for the ever-changing needs of today’s workforce. These standards are to be implemented beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The expectation is for students to work through the standards in multi-subject areas. As students move through grade levels, they will work with and experience the standards at those grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12).

The standards are based on the National Employability Skill Standards from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s Employability Skills Benchmarks, the Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate, and the Indiana Department of Education’s Social Emotional Learning Competencies. The standards are arranged within four key areas: Mindsets (M), Work Ethic (WE), Learning Strategies (LS), and Social and Emotional Skills (SE). Click here to view this resource.

Free SEL Webinar


Connection is the ability to have strong social awareness, giving students the ability to take the perspectives of others and empathize with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures; social awareness.

Lesson Plan: Just Because…Privileges & Segregation

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

This lesson provides multiple opportunities to engage in self-reflection and discussion with others regarding the topic of segregation, privilege, and ways to engage in change to ensure we are working to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. You can access this lesson on page 113 in the SEL Lesson Plan resources here.

Lesson Plan: Tiny Stitches: He Wasn’t Really A Janitor—Power of Persistence in the Face of Prejudice

So many powerful lessons are embedded in this children’s book (Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks); this lesson looks at the real historical account of overcoming prejudice— help students define prejudice, racism, and segregation to start the lesson and then dig into a powerful discussion following the story. You can access this lesson on page 74 in the SEL Lesson Plan resources here.

Educator Wellness

** Educator Wellness Work-Group Forming **

On behalf of the Indiana State Department of Health, in partnership with Indiana Department of Education, we invite you to join our Educator Wellness Work-Group. This committee will spearhead the creation of a toolkit, focusing on how school and early childhood program administrators can support educators to create a culture of wellness. With teacher burnout and turnover rates being so vast for both school teachers and early educators, we believe this toolkit will broaden the perspective on how environments, policies, and school climate and culture can be adjusted to improve their educators’ well-being and job satisfaction. We are recruiting a work-group that will serve as content experts for this project.

Please email Penelope Friday at with a resume and a brief paragraph on why your wellness interests or expertise will guide this project. We look forward to hearing from you!


The mental and physical wellness of educators is integral to the success of our shools. In this TED Talk, neuroscientist Russell Foster urges everyone to check your health by prioritizing sleep.


Literacy Framework

The Literacy Framework is an instructional tool designed to support teachers in their efforts to provide high-quality, ambitious Tier I instruction to all students using research-based instructional practices. Click here to view this resource.

Math Framework

The Math Framework is an instructional tool designed to support teachers in their efforts to provide high-quality, ambitious Tier I instruction to all students using research-based instructional practices. Click here to view this resource.

Science Framework

The Science Framework is an instructional tool designed to support teachers in their efforts to provide high-quality, ambitious Tier I instruction to all students using research-based instructional practices. Click here to view this resource.

Early Learning Framework

Families, caregivers, and early educators all work together to help children grow and learn. The Early Learning Foundations Guidance is intended to be a resource for educators to support and enhance children’s learning and development while using the Foundations, Indiana’s Early Learning Development Framework. While this is not an exhaustive list, this guidance is meant to serve as a suggestion for practice from birth to age five including the transition into kindergarten. It can be used to support a child’s development at different levels of learning and promotes fluid movement between developmental stages. Click here to view this resource.

From Jess Yoder

Perry Central Community Schools added a Natural Helpers peer support group to the junior high school through a partnership with a local domestic violence prevention partner. A peer-selected group of students attended a two-day retreat, led by community-partner Crisis Connection and supported by school social workers, to learn how to be a good listener, appropriately refer their peers when there is a problem, and read body language and other nonverbal messages that friends may give them. Kelly Cash, Project AWARE Coordinator reports, “…it’s like having a bunch of mini counselors walking around the building!”. The intended outcome of Natural Helpers is to ensure that every student in the school has someone they can talk to. For more information, please contact Kelly Cash, Project AWARE Coordinator.

School Social Workers

School Social Work Week - March 1-7, 2020

Mark your calendars! National School Social Work Week will be held the first full calendar week of March.

Foster Youth Free Resource

Below is a resource for foster care, kinship care, and those who have been adopted and have Anthem Medicard. The Department of Child Services case manager is the point of contact for this free resource. For additional information, you can go to

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 24 - March 1

National Eating Disorders Educator Tool Kit may be accessed here

Indianapolis NEDA Walk will be held on April 25, 2020. Register for free here

For more information contact Shannon Nunnelly at

New Resource!

There is a new mental health resource available on the Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness page. Click here to view

The SEL and School Safety Connection

Strategic Communications Collaborative

In an effort to improve partnerships with the SEBW global community, West Ed and the Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety have selected five states to participate in a set of collaborative meetings throughout 2020. The Indiana Department of Education, along with education agencies from Delaware, Michigan, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin, will partner over the course of this year to create state-specific problems of practices that exist at the intersection of Social Emotional Learning and School Safety. The Department is grateful for this opportunity as we work to further develop school-focused resources and tools centered around a comprehensive and targeted approach to supporting the whole child. The first of four meetings will take place in February and we look forward to providing you updates throughout the year.

School Nurses/ Wellness

6 Things School Nurses and Valentine's Day Have in Common

Click here to read this article from Magnus Health.

School Health Index

CDC developed the School Health Index in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health and education agencies to:

  • Enable schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs.
  • Enable schools to develop an action plan for improving student health that can be incorporated into the School Improvement Plan.
  • Engage teachers, parents, students, and the community in promoting health-enhancing behaviors and better health.

Click here for elementary schools

Click here for middle and high schools

2019 Novel Coronavirus Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) first detected in Wuhan, China. The virus continues to expand, with confirmed cases in the United States. Schools should monitor students, using normal procedures to identify any symptoms. All students and staff are strongly encouraged to practice good health hygiene to prevent the spread of any illness, including viruses. Additional information and resources are located here.

School Counseling Newsletter

Click here to access

Happy Valentine's Day

Upcoming Events

You are invited to attend the Indiana Youth Institute’s 2020 State of the Child presentation

Tuesday, February 25, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Indiana State House – North Atrium

Hear about the key data for Hoosier youth first-hand from IYI’s 2020 Indiana KIDS COUNT® Data Book.

Register Your Attendance Here by February 21.

Sponsored by the Commission on Improving the Status of Children

Indiana Agencies Launch First-Ever Joint Statewide Vape Education and Prevention Trainings

The Indiana Department of Education, in collaboration with the Indiana State Department of Health, present a learning opportunity for Hoosiers to engage and discuss the impact of vaping within their community. We are excited to be able to offer this training regionally and look forward to a great discussion on this very important topic. This presentation will provide data related to youth vaping; address vaping devices; discussion on model policy for schools to combat vape use on campus; education and community resources through the Vape-Free Indiana Website; and, completion of enrollment for Catch My Breath curriculum.


Indiana Department of Education
Steve Balko, Director of School Safety
Jason Murrey, Prevention Specialist

Indiana State Department of Health
Miranda Spitznagle, Indiana Tobacco Prevention

Click here to register for free training opportunities

Free Webinar: Teen Dating Violence Prevention

Webinar: Strategies for Promoting Healthy Teen Relationships
February 25, 2020
1-2:30 p.m. CST
Marty E. Harding - Senior trainer for Safe Dates
Phyllis Holditch Niolon, PhD - Senior scientist in the CDC's Division of Violence Prevention
Sarah DeGue, PhD - Senior scientist in the CDC's Division of Violence Prevention

Register Here

Fostering Resilient Learners

3/5/20 - Trauma Invested Institute for Fostering Resilient Learners; 3/6/20 - Understanding Ourselves; Understanding Others

2020 SEL Exchange

Mark your calendars: The 2020 SEL Exchange will be October 14-16, 2020. Keep an eye out for the call for sessions on January 31, join us monthly for an SEL Exchange webinar series, and subscribe to stay up to date on the latest.


Lisa Truitt

Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness Specialist

State Attendance Officer