“This week, media implied that FCPS student data collected through a screener meant to assess the social and emotional welfare of our students could be shared with organizations such as Facebook. We would like to reassure our community that any suggestion of this kind is false.
FCPS has contracted with Panorama Education, Inc., an established and reputable educational research company used by multiple school divisions in the U.S. to conduct this screener. While FCPS shares student data directly with Panorama Education, no other parties have access to the data. Student data will be kept confidential and used only for FCPS’ educational purposes. Panorama Education complies with all applicable federal laws, including FERPA and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), as well as state and local regulations concerning student data.
Parents who prefer that their child not take part in the SEL screener should complete the opt-out request form at the bottom of the testing notification letter and return it to their school. This testing notification letter was sent to families within 30 days of the screener.
This month, FCPS will be screening all students (grades 3-12) to assess where they are socially and emotionally following their return to school 5 days in-person this fall.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. These skills are important for collaboration and perspective taking. They also help students manage their feelings, address challenges, and reach their goals.
Research shows that when schools embed SEL into the school day with fidelity it improves children’s lives, the culture of the school, and teacher well-being. Schools report increased academic success, enriched relationships between teachers and students, and decreases in disruptive behavior. When school staff are able to proactively identify and address the social and emotional needs of students they can actively promote these positive outcomes.
Results from the second interim study report compiled in spring 2021 as part of the FCPS Study of Teaching and Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Office of Research and Strategic Improvement (ORSI) showed that students at all three school levels reported elevated stress levels this year compared to last year. FCPS wants to make sure we are identifying any issues early so that we can better support our students as they return to our buildings.
The screener collects information about students’ SEL skills, feelings, relationships, school environment, and well-being. Screener results are used with other information to support students academically and personally.
For more information please see the FCPS website.”
[image description for the header: Large white text on the right reads “FCPS News Update”. On the left appears a student in a wheelchair holding a tablet, with students surrounding them reading the tablet over their shoulder. FCPS’ Brand colors, teal and gold, frame the image with alternating diagonal stripes. The SEPTA logo appears in the bottom right.]