MCSD receives grant from national superintendents organization to bolster SEL programs

The Marshalltown CSD is one of six school systems nationwide to receive technical assistance, collaborative support and a $4,000 grant from AASA, The School Superintendents Association to enhance professional development and strengthen its social and emotional program.

AASA, the nation’s premier organization representing school system leadership, is partnering with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to launch the SEL Impact Project to better enable school districts to realize the benefits of SEL and provide a more supportive and effective return to in-person learning.

“Every staff member at our District cares deeply for our students and the support necessary for their success,” said MCSD Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “Social and emotional learning provides a pathway for our students to be successful. This generous support will enable us to scale up our efforts to reach more students in the critical area of SEL, which will not only benefit the young learners in our community, but also at school districts within our region and beyond as we share the important work we’re currently engaged in.”

Providing supports for social and emotional wellness is key to ensuring Bobcat students can reach the highest possible level of academic achievement.

“Across the country, school districts and their leaders are realizing the importance of social and emotional learning in creating positive school climates, enhancing student academic performance and strengthening teachers’ instructional skills,” said AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech. “The school districts we’ve chosen realize how critical SEL programming will be for students emerging from the relative isolation of the pandemic and returning to the typical social interactions at school. We feel these grants will serve as a catalyst for recipients to take bold initiatives that will yield new areas of exemplary practices that others can learn from.”

In addition to Marshalltown Schools, other school systems receiving grants are: Bullhead City Elementary School District, Bullhead City, Ariz.; Collier County Public Schools, Naples, Fla.; Moriarty-Edgewood School District, Moriarty, N.M.; Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Naperville, Ill.; and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, Va.

Along with the funds, the participating districts in the SEL Impact Project will receive:

  • Ongoing personalized support from AASA in the development and implementation of SEL plans.
  • Complimentary registration for AASA’s Social & Emotional Learning 2021-22 Cohort. Cohort participants will receive professional development support, toolkits, networking with colleagues and other resources.
  • Collaborative support from other participating districts.
  • A culminating case study document that the district can use to highlight and further its unique SEL efforts.

“The school districts receiving these grants are deeply committed in the area of social and emotional learning,” said Sheldon Berman, lead superintendent, AASA SEL Cohort. “This initiative highlights the important work being done in these districts and provides them with a pathway to bring that work to higher levels—all on behalf of the young learners they serve.”

Acceptance into the SEL Impact Project requires a commitment on the part of the participating districts to make SEL a strategic priority and to utilize the resources provided by the project to further their SEL planning and implementation. This approach will enable them to maximize the value of this opportunity to work and learn together.

For more information about the grants or to find out how to participate in the AASA SEL Cohort, visit the AASA website or contact Mort Sherman at 703-875-0726 or