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Center for Educational Improvement Launches Online Technology Platform to Enhance Social Emotional Learning

Improve School Culture with the S-CCATE Assessments

Improve School Culture with the S-CCATE Assessments

New tool measures school culture, protective factors, and procedures used in classrooms and by the school community

VIENNA, VA, USA, November 13, 2019 / -- The Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) unveiled the national online version of the School Compassionate Culture Analytic Tool for Educators (S-CCATE) today. The tool, a brief, validated assessment to be completed by teachers and other school personnel, is uniquely designed to guide teams of educators and whole school communities through the process of transformational change. The S-CCATE, and its related supplementary assessment, are packaged solutions that use current research on the factors that improve well-being, executive functioning, and neuroplasticity among children and youth—all of which help students gain resiliency, alleviate trauma, and overcome barriers to learning and decision making. This tool allows schools and districts to measure progress, compare your results to a national data set, and celebrate growth.

The approach, developed by CEI over a six year period with school leaders, is an outgrowth of CEI’s signature approach to social emotional learning and mindfulness, Heart Centered Learning®. It focuses on five Cs—consciousness (awareness), compassion, confidence, courage, and community—to equip educators to develop compassionate schools where students acquire knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, feel and show empathy for others, resolve conflicts nonviolently, think creatively, and overcome obstacles to succeed in the classroom and in life.

Validation Study and Research. The S-CCATE Assessments were independently validated by 814 educators in 2018. In 2019, Yale University’s Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH), in partnership with CEI, established the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative (C-TLC) to strengthen mental health supports that address the needs of children who have experienced/are at risk of experiencing significant trauma. The C-TLC is an initiative of the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (New England MHTTC), one of the 10 Regional Centers of the MHTTC Network and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support school-based mental health.

S-CCATE was introduced to schools in New England as part of the C-TLC and 109 unique districts/schools in New England, to date, are S-CCATE users. More than 1,000 responses from districts/schools in the New England area have been recorded and analyzed using S-CCATE. In 2019-2020, New England schools that register will be granted permission to use S-CCATE as part of the C-TLC. With seven (7) or more respondents per school, registered schools gain full reports, including results, comparison to the national data set, and recommendations for improving compassion and alleviating trauma and stress.

How to Use S-CCATE Results. CEI Founder and Executive Director Christine Mason, Ph.D. said in a statement, “The S-CCATE assessments are foundational tools for conducting a needs assessment and monitoring progress to reduce the impact of trauma, build student resilience, and create compassionate school communities that support students’ readiness to learn. By organizing materials into two assessments, we have provided educators with an efficient way to vision, plan, and monitor progress toward the implementation of compassionate, trauma-informed practices in classrooms.”

S-CCATE and the S-CCATE Supplement are designed to be used two to three times during the academic year. With both instruments, teachers, administrators, school psychologists, social workers, teacher aides, and other staff log on to a secure platform and answer questions about themselves, their students, and their school leadership according to their individual perceptions. The approach is designed to strengthen, value, and increase social-emotional competence, accelerate learning, and develop a sense of well-being for students, teachers, and the wider school community.

The Technology Behind S-CCATE. The technology platform is powered by TeachLink and Benda Engineering—a leading software and engineering design partnership that develops innovative solutions for schools and educators. Benda Engineering’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Nels Benda, PE said, “We are pleased to expand our technology offerings to include a custom tool, the S-CCATE, to help administrators, teachers, and other school staff enhance the culture of compassion in school communities.”

Getting Started with S-CCATE. If you and your school community are interested in learning more, reviewing data from our validation study, and viewing a demonstration of the online S-CCATE assessment, visit S-CCATE is available to school districts and individual schools at an annual subscription rate. The packaged solutions begin with administration of S-CCATE, followed by guided professional development. S-CCATE subscriptions include up to three administrations annually. All data are confidential, reported in the aggregate, and stored on a robust, secure online platform. Schools/districts receive aggregated results and basic recommendations; they also have access to comparison results from our national data set and within the same school district. Value-added options, including S-CCATE Action Guides with specific customized recommendations for schools and districts, publications on mindfulness practices, and onsite training and technical support, can be purchased to accompany subscription packages.

Data from S-CCATE can be used to show progress in becoming a trauma-informed school and improvements in school culture and social-emotional learning. School leaders at all levels are invited to contact CEI’s Director of Communications and Development Ingrid Padgett via email or phone (; 1-800-994-6441) to bring the S-CCATE Assessment tools to their school communities.

About the Center for Educational Improvement. Founded in 2010, the Center for Educational Improvement’s mission is to support and uplift schools through 21st century learning and leadership. CEI believes every child, regardless of zip code, deserves to attend a great school. The organization is dedicated to translating the latest education research into practical solutions educators can use to “fast track” academic progress. CEI’s efforts support school leaders and educators as they work with their communities to create a 21st century vision for their schools and a culture and context for students to become enthusiastic lifelong learners and leaders. For more information about CEI, visit

About TeachLink and Benda Engineering. The flagship TeachLink program was launched in 2017 by Benda Engineering as a education technology platform for a wide range of custom engineering and software services. Teachlink brings the required components for compliance into the 21st century, linking teachers and administrators through easy to use forms, providing online digital submissions and approvals, and streamlining the compliance process in a paperless manner. For more information, visit or

Ingrid Padgett
Center for Educational Improvement
+1 800-994-6441
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