This case study adds to the body of evidence showing that student outcomes can be improved by integrating social emotional learning (SEL) practices into teacher instruction instead of making SEL “another thing” for them to do. During the 2021-22 school year, Jeanne R. Meadows Elementary School ("Meadows")—a Title I school in San Jose, California—partnered with PowerMyLearning to implement their "Nurture Student Growth through Social Emotional Learning" program.

After integrating SEL into academic instruction, Meadows improved student behavior, strengthened SEL skills, and saw a statistically significant difference in the proportion of students who exceeded or met district math and reading benchmarks. 

An impact study showed that there was a statistically significant difference in the proportion of students who exceeded or met district benchmarks before and after the SEL program for Star Reading (+13%; p<.001) and Star Math (+ 7%; p=.03).    

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The program also:  

  1. Built teacher capacity: Thanks to bite-sized, flexible professional development, teachers became significantly more confident in supporting students’ SEL competencies, including self-efficacy (+11%; p<.10), sense of belonging (+10%; p<.10), and sense of safety (+11%; p=.08).  
  2. Improved students’ behavior and SEL skills: By embedding SEL into the curriculum, students became better equipped to manage their emotions and developed key skills to support their learning. Students had significantly better self-efficacy (+12%; p<.10) and self-management (+7%; p=.08) after the program. 
  3. Strengthened relationships with families: Meadows successfully strengthened  relationships between students, teachers, and families. The SEL program significantly improved teacher-family relationships (+13%; p<.01) and school climate (+7%; p=.03).
“Our priority is developing an inclusive community of kindness and a sense of belonging for every member of our school community — students, staff, and families.” 
Magdalena Moore
Principal

“If you could see where our school was from the beginning of the year to now, we have grown
exponentially and I attribute a lot of that to PowerMyLearning."

Erin Cardona
Teacher

“We talked about accountability and the steps students needed to take to achieve their goals. These conversations helped solidify that my role here is to help them and build their trust in me.”

Rick Drewrey
Teacher

This study was generously funded by the Leon Lowenstein Foundation.