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School Day Is a Holistic Support System for Schools


Forbes magazine listed Marc Brackett's book Permission to Feel as one of the must-reads of 2019. In his book, Brackett lists four essential features for effective SEL (social and emotional learning) strategies. As School Day also includes SEL, we can't resist comparing our service to Brackett's list.

"The best SEL approaches are systematic, not piecemeal."

School Day Wellbeing is a holistic support system for student wellbeing. Students answer our surveys every school day. Our app asks them questions such as How are you feeling today? and asks them to react on statements like It is easy for me to understand my friends or I feel lonely.

We also send students and teachers encouragement, tips and information on wellbeing daily during the school week. Furthermore, our Wellbeing Ambassador Program gives educators the possibility to learn more about student wellbeing and become certified Wellbeing Ambassadors.

All this is done with the support of educational scientists and the latest information on how to develop student wellbeing. We collaborate closely with Helsinki University Department of Education and Tampere University Health Sciences, among other experts on education and wellbeing.

"The best SEL efforts are proactive, not reactive."

School Day Insights makes it possible to monitor student wellbeing daily. When students first report loneliness or lack of sleep or anxiety, there is still time to shuffle the seating arrangement or organize something fun before things escalate.

We have dial charts for five wellbeing categories, 30 wellbeing phenomena and hundreds of smaller phenomena that are based on the OECD model for student wellbeing and include a wide variety of topics from the physical surroundings to emotions. Our dial charts show the development for each, which makes it easy for the schools to react without a delay and prioritize their time and energy.

School Day also gives students a voice without putting them in danger of losing face. Students can safely reveal their fears and wishes in the privacy of their own phones. If there is something to worry about, it will be revealed in its early stage, before it's too late or too difficult to handle.

"The most effective approaches integrate SEL into the curriculum and provide skill building across all grade levels to reach all children."

School Day Wellbeing Service works best when applied to the whole school district. Student wellbeing can be monitored effectively across the district allowing efficient decision-making and prioritizing, for example by assigning extra resources where they are needed the most.

All students answer our wellbeing surveys. This makes School Day a democratic way to amplify student voice and the collected information unbiased. Teachers are needed to supervise that students do in fact take the surveys. Students need time and a safe environment to do so. They can use their own phones or any other device such as a tablet, Chromebook or a regular computer.

Teachers are also needed for the discussion after the survey. Our service sends teachers and students encouragement and information on wellbeing - however, students need the opportunity to talk about various wellbeing topics face to face with their teacher.

"The best SEL approaches pay attention to outcomes"

School Day is all about outcomes and the opportunity to make them better. We want to help schools support their students' wellbeing, not only for the enhanced quality of life for all our children but also for better learning outcomes, which inevitably will also improve the quality of life of those who have been given tools to succeed.

We hope that school staff often visits their Insights page with all dial charts on their student wellbeing. When districts, schools, or teachers see something worrisome in their dial charts, they get the opportunity to react. These opportunities are hard to come by, as any educator knows. But we can let you know when there is something going on that you should know about.

Together with students and co-workers, pick one wellbeing phenomena, focus on that and brainstorm ideas on how to change the situation. After taking some time to implement new strategies for enhancing that specific wellbeing phenomenon, you can go back to the dial chart and see if your actions have had an effect. If not, new ideas and strategies are in order. If yes, you can pick another phenomenon and start working on that.

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