Valor Collegiate Academy

Representatives: Rachel Carson, Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum Designer, Daren Dickson, Chief Culture Officer, and Todd Dickson, CEO

EdSurge Case Study

How Valor Collegiate Academy is Rethinking SEL, March 14, 2017

Valor Compass is a five-point social-emotional learning (SEL) tool that is used to guide curriculum and encourage intentional teaching of non-academic skills: Sharp Mind (curiosity & diversity), Noble Purpose (joy & identity), Big Heart (courage & kindness), Aligned Actions (determination & integrity), and True North (balance & presence).

The school organization is working to integrate the core Compass habits more intentionally into academic subject areas. They are sharing the Compass work with other schools through professional development.

Recognizing that additional habits emerge when Compass is used in different learning contexts, Valor also is developing the habits associated with Compass-in-Academics, Compass-in-Relationships, Compass-in-Motion, and Compass-in-College-Prep. The Compass-in-College-Prep, still under development, aligns with MyWays’ Wayfinding Abilities.

Dilemma: Measuring the development of Valor’s Compass habits.

Questions: It is not so easy to measure the outcomes of social-emotional learning (SEL), but it would be powerful to communicate the formative “data” of Compass habit development—that we see happening—to scholars and the community. What might this look like? How do we go about creating the metrics that are going to help us measure student entry and growth, in a way that is manageable for schools? What is a prototype that you have for measuring SEL?


Resource Guide - This one page guide provides links to several resources that Valor has created for educators about its approach to “Working the Compass”

Working the Compass (slide deck) - This slidedeck provides an overview of “Working the Compass,” including embedded videos of “Circles” in action (a central practice of Valor’s SEL program)