The Texas Model and TEKS Standards
Everything is bigger in Texas, right? Even social-emotional learning!
That’s why this month, our team took a deeper dive into the social-emotional learning standards for the biggest state in the US: Texas. Specifically, we focused on the connection between the Empowering Education curriculum, Empowering Minds, and the Texas Model and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards (TEKS).
TEKS & SEL
TEKS are the state standards for what Texas students should know and be able to do. While there are Texas state guidelines for social-emotional learning (SEL) for early childhood education, there are no specific SEL TEKS standards for older grades other than the existing Health Standards. The current Texas Health Standards cover all of the core SEL competencies as outlined by the Collaborative for Academics and Social-Emotional Learning (CASEL).
The Texas Model and Empowering Minds
The Texas Model describes what constitutes a quality school counseling program and which provides equal opportunities for all students to receive both guidance and counseling at school. As counseling happens both one-on-one as well in a classroom setting, the Texas Model supports counselors’ role assisting educators in the integration of counseling objectives with the instructional goals of the classroom.
To break down the model to its specifics, quality school counseling programs must include the following four components:
- Guidance Curriculum: “to help students develop their full educational potential, including the student's interests and career objectives;”
- Responsive Services: “to intervene on behalf of any student whose immediate personal concerns or problems put the student's continued educational, career, personal, or social development at risk;”
- Individual Planning: “to guide a student as the student plans, monitors, and manages the student’s own educational, career, personal, and social development;”
- System Support: “to support the efforts of teachers, staff, parents, and other members of the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students.”
Surprise, Empowering Minds covers all four! Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
As a K-8, evidence-based, social-emotional curriculum, Empowering Minds' connection to the Texas Model is through the curriculum component. Texas public school counselors are encouraged to use curricula that are designed to facilitate growth and development for students in four areas: interpersonal effectiveness, intrapersonal effectiveness, post-secondary education, and personal health and safety.
The Empowering Minds program is based on CASEL's five SEL competencies, which are directly applicable to the Texas Model content areas. For example, intrapersonal effectiveness deals with self-awareness and self-regulation. Interpersonal effectiveness is tied to CASEL’s social-awareness and relationship skills. Finally, both career readiness and personal health are both connected to CASEL’s responsible decision-making competence.
While Empowering Minds is primarily used as a Tier 1 resource, it is often used as part of an intervention for students seen in small groups or 1:1 counseling. Directly from the Texas Model 5th Edition, “The purpose of the responsive services component is to intervene on behalf of those students whose immediate personal circumstances, concerns, or problems interfere with their healthy personal, social, educational, and career development.”
Empowering Minds in Your School
We are excited to connect with teachers, counselors, and administrators from Texas schools and share our evidence-based program with your school as a strong partner of your Texas Model.
The purpose of individual planning in the Texas Model is “to guide a student as the student plans, monitors, and manages the student’s own educational, career, personal, and social development.” Specific lessons throughout the Empowering Minds program focus on helping students with goal-setting, using a growth-mindset, and discovering their own strengths and weaknesses. These foundational skills help students effectively set and manage their personal goals.
Finally, counseling programs need to focus on the systems supporting, meaning “to support the efforts of teachers, staff, parents, and other members of the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students.”
Empowering Minds’ scope and sequence was designed to benefit students throughout the entire school campus with differentiated units taught through a schoolwide approach. The Empowering Minds program includes academic extensions to connect all curriculum subjects to SEL as well as at-home resources to ensure families are involved in the learning process. Empowering Minds uses evidence-based assessment tools such as the Child Trends survey to evaluate student growth.
We've included below a brief outline of the Health Standards skills connected with the five CASEL SEL competencies covered by Empowering minds:
Empowering Minds in Your School
Want to bring Empowering Education to your school in Texas? We are excited to connect with teachers, counselors, and administrators from Texas schools and share our evidence-based program with your school as a strong partner of your Texas Model.