SEL Progress Monitoring Best Practices

SEL Progress Monitoring serves as a bridge between administering Check-ins* and Social-emotional Learning Surveys (Tier 1 supports) and SEL interventions (Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports). Educators are able to select an intervention focus area aligned to SEL topics based on student needs.

*Please note, you do need access to Interventions and Progress Monitoring tool in order to utilize the SEL Progress Monitoring feature. If you would like to learn more, feel free to reach out to your Panorama project team! 

What's in this article:

Educators can utilize SEL Progress Monitoring to measure student progress between SEL Survey Administrations and quickly respond to student needs. Use the links below to navigate to a specific section, or scroll down to explore how SEl Progress Monitoring can meet the needs of the students you are supporting:

SEL Progress Monitoring for students

  • Who uses SEL Progress Monitoring?
  • Identifying students for SEL Progress Monitoring
  • Choosing monitoring questions
  • Advising students about the progress monitoring surveys

Reviewing SEL Progress Monitoring Results

  • The frequency of  progress monitoring
  • Decisions to make based on the data

SEL Progress Monitoring for students

SEL Progress Monitoring provides educators a picture of the student experience and progress during an intervention and allows them to notice and respond more immediately to student needs. 

Who uses SEL Progress Monitoring?

SEL Progress monitoring is intended for educators who support small groups, or individual Tier 2 or 3 interventions. SEL progress monitoring can support up to 100 students per intervention group. When supporting a group of students, we recommend less than 10 per intervention plan. You'll want to note that all students within the group will have the same plan details, including the start date. Here are a few example other examples where monitoring questions can be successful for various educators and students:

  • A counselor working with a class of high school students on a specific SEL related college and career readiness skill such as Learning Strategies or Self-Efficacy, might administer SEL monitoring questions every two weeks to know how to tailor the next week's class.
  • An elementary educator can provide extra support during recess to a 5th grader who is struggling with Sense of Belonging, by having the student answer SEL monitoring questions every Friday during breakfast. 
  • A behavior specialist leading a 4 week lunch group intervention, might check in with students to see how they are improving in Self-Management at the start or end of every session. 

How do I choose which students or groups of students should be receiving the intervention(s)?

Progress monitoring fits into your school’s MTSS processes for identifying students who need additional support based on multiple forms of data. Most schools work in teams of educators to look at data on a regular frequency to identify students, check in on student progress, and address any necessary changes in student plans. 

We recommend these teams reference Panorama’s SEL survey response data alongside student attendance, academic, and behavioral data. In the panorama platform, there are multiple different ways to search for students who may need support:

  • You can search for a student you already know needs additional support, or you can use the filters in Student Success to find students who meet certain criteria for a tiered intervention. For example students who have reported little or no skills from their SEL Competency Survey. 
  • You may also expand the SEL indicator bar to see each of the different topics that were surveyed, which may be helpful if you are looking to support students in a specific area, such as self-management or self-efficacy.

We recommend setting up Tier 2 or 3 interventions for individuals or groups who are working toward the same goals, to ensure the intervention champion can provide the support necessary for the students. In addition, guardian input and teacher perception are important indicators to consider if a student would benefit from a Tier 2 or 3 individual or group intervention.

How do I select questions?

We know your time is extremely limited, so we provide two default progress monitoring questions that are topic-aligned for your selected SEL focus areas. When setting up an SEL intervention, you are able to choose up to 3 Focus Areas (your SEL topics). Since students and interventions can vary, we provide alternative content options. You can swap out any of the default questions for alternative questions, while keeping two questions per topic.

Additionally, you can add a free response question from our item bank to any focus area. Our free response questions were designed to help students reflect and provide teachers with contextual information. We encourage you to use free response questions when you will be sure to have time to review them. Demonstrating to students that you are reading their feedback is a great way to promote engagement, foster trust, and can reinforce the importance of taking the surveys.

The development of all progress monitoring content was informed by the relevant literature and survey design best practices. It has been reviewed by experts in the field of measurement and SEL and practitioners. 

How to advise students about the survey?

You will be notified in the platform to share the specific link to the students at the frequency that has been set for your intervention. Students enter their access code to submit their answers. Progress monitoring surveys are brief and should not take longer than 2 minutes to complete! To avoid any confusion, we recommend letting students know that they will be answering the same questions for each administration. Answering the same questions allows you to see how your students are doing from week to week to better understand how they are progressing or if they are feeling challenged and may need additional support.

Reviewing SEL Progress Monitoring Results

At what frequency is it best for students to take the progress monitoring surveys?

While you have the option for students to complete weekly, biweekly, or monthly progress monitoring surveys, we recommend that your choice be related to the frequency at which you are performing an intervention with the student. The monitoring method and frequency are determined by the educator who initially created the student's intervention plan.

Since each intervention is different and each student works differently, we have allowed for flexibility. If you see or work with your student weekly and want to see how the student is perceiving themselves in that week, you might choose weekly. Alternatively, if you want to give the students more time between administrations to allow for more reflection or progress, you might choose a longer interval. 

What decisions should I make based on the results of my surveys?

While reading the results of each students responses you’ll want to remember to: 

  • Stay low on the ladder of inference. Identify facts in what you're seeing before jumping to conclusions about cause and effect.
  • Celebrate growth and identify challenges. Over time you'll be able to see if there are patterns in the responses. Highlight areas of growth and identify your student’s strengths.
  • Access Playbook through your reports to search for "moves" (i.e., strategies, interventions, lesson plans, activities) that you can try in your classroom. Learn more about moving from understanding to action with Playbook here.

As always, data should be interpreted carefully and within the context of other data and the champion’s expertise. While the data can be a useful indicator of what is going on for a student, they are not a definitive picture. No single set of questions can definitely encapsulate any individual student, so it is important we use these data as one of many valuable inputs in making decisions and taking actions.

Below are examples of action steps educators may take after reviewing this data:

  • Adjust intervention plans to better meet student needs, such as meeting more frequently or changing the strategy.
  • Have a conversation with a student or their family about why an answer changed from one week to the next.
  • Refer the student to a counselor or student support team for additional support.