Triad Educators Attend Innovative Conference on Social-Emotional Learning

Local Educators Attend Innovative Conference

Educators From Triad School District Use Their Summer to Create Programs to Benefit Their Students 

Collinsville, IL:  Educators from Triad School District attended a week-long conference in Collinsville, IL dedicated to creating programming to strengthen youth and staff mental health opportunities for the upcoming school year. The event was held at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, IL July 25 - 29, 2022. 

The purpose of the event was to provide the time, space, and coaching expertise to help each of the 15 participating districts understand what Social Emotional Learning is and what it is not.  The teams then took that knowledge and created a program specifically for their school or district for the 2022-23 school year.  

This week-long summit was the culmination of a year’s worth of work by each of the districts.  In the fall of 2021, each school or district convened a team to take the Trauma Responsive Schools Implementation Assessment (TRS-IA), an evidence-informed self-assessment that comprises eight key domains of trauma-responsive schools and districts.  During the Spring Semester of 2022, each team took their results from the assessment and created an action plan unique to their situation that could be implemented in Fall, 2022.  The Summer Summit provided the resources necessary to complete the details of their programming.

Triad’s team leader Dr. Sandra Padak says that, “The SEL Committee greatly appreciated the opportunity to attend this conference with exceptional presenters and learn how we can best address the social emotional concerns in the education system especially after the impact of covid the past few years. After completing the Trauma Responsive Schools Implementation Assessment (TRI-IA) survey, the results highlighted the need to prioritize wellness specifically of the staff along with implementation of trauma informed practices. The team is excited about presenting at the upcoming beginning of the year teacher institute. Additionally, the group will be working closely throughout the school year and years to follow in order to gather more resources for the students, teachers, parents, and community. We realize this will be an enormous task and will be an on-going journey, but are committed to starting the process to improve the wellbeing of everyone.”

Triad’s Social Emotional Learning Committee link to picture 

Pictured left to right are Sarah Presson, Andrea Morris, Matt Gessford, Sandra Padak, Tess Dawson, Amy Sarhage, Kate Brendel, and Alyssa Hoguet

This event was made possible by the Illinois State Board of Education’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Grant, overseen by Dr. Ryan Wamser of Regional Office of Education #40 in Carlinville, IL.  Each participant received a stipend from the SEL Grant and two graduate credits from McKendree University, also funded by the grant. Expert coaches and facilitators were provided by, a CASEL-certified organization based in Chicago, IL.

The Area 5 SEL Hub is housed at the Regional Office of Education #40 in Carlinville, IL.  Supported by ISBE grant funds, the Area 5 Hub provides professional development opportunities to educators around social-emotional learning, trauma, and equity in the 13 counties that make up Area 5 in southwestern Illinois.

To read the original press release document, click here.