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Social & Emotional Wellness. Meeting the Needs of Colorado’s Diverse Student Population . Colorado’s Diverse Student Population. Over 40% of Colorado’s student population are from racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds.

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social emotional wellness

Social & Emotional Wellness

Meeting the Needs of Colorado’s Diverse Student Population

colorado s diverse student population
Colorado’s DiverseStudent Population
  • Over 40% of Colorado’s student population are from racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds.
  • From 2000-2010, the English language learner (ELL) growth rate was 260% (CDE, 2010).
  • High ELL dropout rates, and lower academic achievement of ELLs (CDE, 2010).
english language proficiency act
English Language Proficiency Act
  • The English Language Proficiency Act Program is a state funded program that provides financial and technical assistance to school districts implementing programs to serve the needs of students whose dominant language is not English.
  • The ELPA program is funded annually on a per pupil basis.
  • It is the duty of each district to:

1. Identify, through the observations and recommendations of parents, teachers, or

other persons the students whose dominant language may not be English

2. Assesssuch students, using instruments and techniques approved by the

department, to determine if their dominant language is not English

3. Certifyto the department those students in the district whose dominant language

is not English

4. Administer and provide programs for students whose dominant language is not




Implications for Research and Practice

Sara Castro-Olivo, PhD, NCSP

University of California, Riverside

Mini-skills workshop presented at the NASP 2010 Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.



  • ELLs are perceived to be at higher risk for social-emotional and behavioral problems due to the many life challenges they face.
  • Academic and social-emotional adjustment of immigrant children are lower than mainstream children across countries
  • The research on the mental health needs of ELL students is limited
  • Lack of appropriate services, if any!


  • Perceived discrimination
  • Social victimization and persecution
  • Language Barriers
  • Loneliness related to leaving their friends and family
  • Parental economic and social-emotional stress
  • Rarely seek mental health services
  • Higher Levels of Acculturative Stress
  • Low Sense of School Belonging



Academic Systems

Behavioral Systems

  • Intensive, Individual Interventions
  • Individual Students
  • Assessment-based
  • Intense, durable procedures
  • Targeted Group Interventions
  • Some students (at-risk)
  • High efficiency
  • Rapid response
  • Intensive, Individual Interventions
  • Individual Students
  • Assessment-based
  • High Intensity
  • Targeted Group Interventions
  • Some students (at-risk) 5-10%
  • High efficiency
  • Rapid response
  • Universal Interventions
  • All students 80-90%
  • Preventive, proactive




  • Universal Interventions
  • All settings, all students
  • Preventive, proactive


Sara Castro-Olivo, PhD, NCSP

University of California, Riverside

Mini-skills workshop presented at the NASP 2010 Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.



  • Supports pupil’s mastery of academic skills
  • Nurtures their emotional life
  • Teaches them skills on how to cope with stressful situations
  • Teaches them to get along well with others and make responsible decisions
  • Provides them with a strong moral compass
  • Promotes self-esteem and goal setting


  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Self-management
  • Problem Solving
  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Cognitive skills impacting emotional adjustment (meta-cognition, appropriate cognitive responses to stressors)

Going Forward…. ? ???

Would teaching these skills be enough?

Should we expect proposed teaching styles/examples to work with ELL students?

What issues do you see with current evidence based programs?

colorado s district sample curriculum project

Colorado’s District Sample Curriculum Project

Comprehensive Health

Unit Development Phase III


Curriculum design workshops resulted in the creation of 670 curriculum samples based on the CAS

Over 500 Colorado educators, representing 61 school districts

The samples provide organizing structures for addressing all elements of the CAS

Created by and for Colorado educators to support school districts in their successful implementation of the CAS (2013-2014)

Since last February when the unit samples were posted on CDE’s website there have been 1 million visits to the content area web pages.

Colorado’s Sample Curriculum Project

phase iii teacher created instructional units
Phase IIITeacher Created Instructional Units
  • In phase III, the content specialists within the Office of Standards and Instructional Support have been traveling across the state to work with educators in district settings to build the units, which include learning strategies, resource suggestions, differentiation options, and assessment ideas linked to helping all students master the Colorado Academic Standards.

Emotional and Social Wellness

Includes mental, emotional, and social health skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop

care and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, handle

challenging situations constructively, resolve conflicts respectfully, manage stress, and make

ethical and safe choices; examines internal and external influences on mental and social health;

and identifies common mental and emotional health problems and their effect on physical health.

Prepared Graduates

The prepared graduate competencies are the preschool through twelfth-grade concepts and skills

that all students who complete the Colorado education system must master to ensure their

success in a postsecondary and workforce setting.

  • Understanding that 1 in 8 students in Colorado is an English learner, as well as the need for all students to develop academic and technical language skills, Colorado was very purposeful by including the Critical Language section as an intentional component of the Colorado District Sample Curriculum Design.
  • The research behind the Critical Language section of the template comes from both second language acquisition and literacy theories.
critical language
Critical Language

Critical Language includes the Academic and Technical vocabulary, semantics, and discourse which are particular to and necessary for accessing a given discipline.

why is this language element critical consider the following
Why is this language element “critical” ?Consider the following . . .
  • There is no egg in eggplant & no ham in hamburger.
  • A slim chance & a fat chance are the same, but a wise manand a wise guy are opposites.
  • If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
  • We get in a car, but on a bus.
  • And, don’t get me started on all the ways we use “up!” (wake up, bring up, call up, stay up, dress up, warm up, write up, fix up, stir up, lock up, clean up, cloud up, dry up, shut up, speak up, wrap up, up to it, etc, etc, etc. . .)

-Hopewell, 2012

write a legend explaining shooting stars
Write a legend explaining shooting stars.

Do not underestimate language

challenges for students.

a bit about differentiation
A Bit About… Differentiation
  • What is meant by differentiation?
  • Multiple means for students to access content and multiple modes for students to express understanding
  • Content, Process, and Product (teacher)
  • Readiness, Interest, Learning Profile (student)
  • Differentiation does not mean that every single lesson or unit includes a differentiated content, process, and product for each student’s interest, readiness level, and learning profile.