The many uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to increased anxiety in children and adults. Many educators wonder how to learn about students' social-emotional behaviors (SEB) and needs. Although remote instruction offers a way to provide learning opportunities, it creates unique challenges related to gathering data about students' social-emotional learning (SEL).
Behavior Screening Tools
FastBridge has two SEL screening tools that include items to rate students' social, academic, and behavioral skills. Note that the academic skills rated are those related to academic effort and persistence and not attained academic scores. There are two versions:
- SAEBRS: This is a 19-item computerized teacher rating scale.
- mySAEBRS: This is a 20-item computerized student rating scale.
Both the SAEBRS and mySAEBRS are designed for universal screening up to three times a year to identify students who might need additional SEL instruction. The COVID-19 pandemic has created circumstances that might require adjustments to the typical screening schedule. A variety of instruction formats are possible, including in-school, hybrid, or remote settings, and each one could have different effects on students' SEL needs. Regardless of the instructional format, a school is using, there are certain questions that educators should consider before deciding to conduct behavior screening. These include:
- What is the intended use of the screening data and how will the scores be used?
- What are the behavior expectations for the students in the current learning environment (in-school, hybrid, or remote)?
- When instruction is remote, different behavioral expectations are likely to be in place than in when in a school building.
- If you're in a fully-remote setting, we recommend reviewing the SAEBRS items in order to determine if they will apply to the online expectations for your students.
Screening Remotely. When schools are conducting fully remote instruction via online learning tools, adjustments to the SEB screening schedule might be needed. For example, the mySAEBRS can be used when students are learning remotely. For students in grades 2 through 12, you can have students complete the mySAEBRS as soon as the school year begins in order to learn their self-assessment of social-emotional behaviors. Guidance related to how schools can arrange for students to complete the mySAEBRS from home can be found in this article. Before using the SAEBRS, it will be important to consider the frequency and duration of teacher opportunities to observe student behaviors so that the ratings will be reliable and valid. As a reminder, teachers should have worked with and observed students daily for at least 4 weeks prior to completing SAEBRS. When instruction is a hybrid of in-school and online or fully online, teachers might need more days and weeks for observation before completing the SAEBRS.
The FastBridge behavior progress measure is the Direct Behavior Rating (DBR). The DBR is currently in Lab status to confirm functioning in FastBridge. The DBR is not likely to be useful until students return to daily school attendance because it requires teachers to observe the student regularly to obtain ratings.
Currently, FastBridge does not offer any behavior interventions. There are reputable national centers that do have SEL instruction resources which can be accessed at the following links.
- Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning
- Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
- National Center on Intensive Intervention