Are the Kids Ok? How California Charter Public Schools Support Social-Emotional Wellbeing Statewide

POM21_Cover Art

Get this critical research on social-emotional and mental health supports today!

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts yet another school year, a critical question must be asked: Are the Kids OK?

In our latest Portrait of the Movement, we explore the answer to that question: according to the CA Department of Public Health, 93% of charter public schools have used some of their COVID relief funds to make “significant new investments” in social-emotional and mental health supports for students.

Additionally, we highlight four exceptional charter public schools and the strategies and practices they’ve adopted to ensure their campuses are positive, nurturing environments where every student can learn, grow, and heal from the pandemic.

Trusted Relationships & Tailored Support

WATCH NOW: Dani George, an 8th grader at SOAR Charter Academy, says surveys and student/teacher check-ins help build trust and ensure students get the support they need.   

POM Symbol 1

Trusted Relationships: Interviewed leaders emphasized that, as Rodolfo Garcia from EBCA says, “It’s all about relationships.” Leaders set up structures, like mentorship programs, to support the formation and development of trusting relationships with students.

POM Symbol 2

Tailored Support: Leaders emphasized that a tailored approach is much more impactful than assuming ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Leaders use student surveys, observation, and other data to identify ways to reach every student.

Family and Community Partnerships & Growth and Positivity

WATCH NOW: Chammarra Nguyen, Assistant Director at Vibrant Minds Charter School, says family-centered events on campus  keep students and parents connected. Celebrating wins keeps everyone focused on growth.   

POM Symbol 3

Family and Community Partnerships: Social-emotional development cannot happen in a vacuum – it is far more effective when students receive consistent support at home, school, and in their communities. Charter leaders understand this well and are diligent about keeping families up-to-date on what is happening at school, involving them in school-level decision-making, and promoting community involvement.

POM Symbol 4

Growth and Positivity: Charter educators are promoting self-efficacy by concentrating on academic growth and social-emotional development. As Trisha Lancaster from SOAR Charter says, “It’s not about what the last year and a half did to’s about where you are now.”

Additional Resources

In this episode, host Ana Tintocalis takes listeners to Larchmont Charter School in Los Angeles to learn about a simple yet powerful social and emotional strategy: talking circles. We also preview an upcoming report produced by the California Charter Schools Association called "Are the Kids OK? How California Charter Public Schools Support Social-Emotional Wellbeing Schoolwide." 

A live roundtable discussion on CCSA's Portrait of the Movement report, “Are the Kids OK? How Charter Public Schools Support Social-Emotional Wellbeing Schoolwide” with the report author and school leaders.