Equitable Conditions for Learning

State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning

The state ensures that all students have access to whole child supports, including social-emotional supports; access to safe and healthy learning environments; and engaging, supportive and appropriately challenging instruction so they can develop the skills to drive their own learning and to engage deeply as members of their communities. Comprehensive and transparent data on whole child development enables partnerships between the state and its communities to advance strategies that meet the needs of all students.


The Goal: The state has collaborated across agencies to align resources, funding and services to support the whole child and ensure access to safe and healthy learning environments.

Support Actions:

  • The state convenes a set of diverse stakeholders and representatives from state agencies that cover K-12, higher education, workforce, health, social services, juvenile justice and early childhood to establish goals for supporting the whole child; to align funding, resources and services to this goal; and to provide professional development opportunities for educators and leaders to better support the whole child.
  • The state leverages reporting data on discipline, attendance and safe and healthy learning environments to prioritize resources and support students with the greatest needs, including by  developing and expanding programs focused on social-emotional development, such as community schools, integrated student supports, Promise Neighborhoods, after-school programs and  children’s councils.
Strategic Question: What whole child supports, resources and services does the state currently provide, and what are the strengths, areas for improvement and areas of overlap within and between agencies?


The Goal: The state has partnered with diverse stakeholders and cross-agency representatives to ensure that gaps in whole child outcomes are being addressed, to provide training and supports for educators and school leaders and to support districts to pilot whole child competencies and reporting measures.

Supporting Actions: 

  • The state builds the capacity of districts to incorporate social-emotional or whole child indicators in the state’s performance measurement system by encouraging districts to report on student mastery of social-emotional competencies; providing opportunities for cross-district networking around new indicators; providing technical assistance; and investing in research and development partnerships to identify indicators that are valid, reliable and actionable.
  • The state creates a new funding stream to address gaps in whole child data, empowering districts to leverage state resources to improve student access to whole child and social-emotional supports.
Strategic Question: How does the state’s performance measurement system, which includes its accountability and reporting systems, encourage whole child supports, and how could the state make improvements to further incentivize whole child supports?

Statewide Transformation

The Goal: The state regularly communicates and holds districts and schools accountable on a range of whole child performance indicators, empowering diverse stakeholders at the state and district levels to respond to the data with strategies to improve whole child supports and address system inequities.

Supporting Actions:

  • The state empowers districts and diverse stakeholders to improve equitable access to social-emotional supports by continually monitoring and adjusting resources to ensure students most in need benefit from high-quality programs and services.
  • The state establishes a system to improve alignment and monitoring of in-school and out-of-school learning and provides professional development for educators and community partners that helps integrate social-emotional and whole child elements across learning environments.
Strategic Question: How can the state leverage partnerships with stakeholders to ensure that students’ whole child needs are being met during in-school and out-of-school learning opportunities?

Read About an Early Adopter

Pennsylvania’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan is leveraging a community schools model to mitigate the impact of poverty on academic performance by meeting the needs of students and families through locally-driven partnerships. Community schools create vibrant, safe and welcoming environments where students are challenged and supported to achieve their maximum potential.

A community school is both a place and set of partnerships that help address health, wellness and the social needs of its students, families and the surrounding neighborhood. Schools become centers of the community, open to everyone, all day, every day, including evenings and weekends.

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Twelve policy conditions are necessary for a successful statewide transformation to personalized learning.