The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to our schools that deepened many existing equity, access, and opportunity barriers, especially for students of color and students from families facing economic challenges. Unfinished learning and opportunity gaps are too common in our schools and equity-minded leaders have realized that doing “what we’ve always done” will not sufficiently address these challenges as we recover from the pandemic.

Instead, leaders all over the country are exploring and adopting data-informed social and emotional learning (SEL) strategies to meet the needs of the whole student. Plan to join our webinar to learn more about strategies designed to navigate the post-pandemic environment and set your students and staff up for success.

This 60-minute webinar will examine:
  • the role of social and emotional learning in advancing equity and success;
  • equity-focused lessons learned from SEL research with students of color and from low-income communities; and
  • innovative social and emotional strategies and tools that educators can use to improve student outcomes post pandemic.


Date: Thursday, August 5, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m., ET / 11:00 a.m., PT
Duration: 60 minutes

Welcome and Closing:

Tina GridironTina Gridiron
Vice President
ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning

Panel Moderator:

Alex CasillasDr. Alex Casillas, principal research psychologist
Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning Research


Xio IrahetaXio Iraheta is the GEAR UP Director for Alliance College-Ready Public Schools serving scholars and families in the Central and South Los Angeles area. She has more than a decade of experience partnering with local government, working in educational and community-based organizations developing strategy, and helping youth and families access social services in order to transform traditionally underserved communities.

Norma Ortiz McCormickNorma Ortiz McCormick, Director for the Region One Office of College, Career and Life Readiness, is a highly recognized advocate for students and families who have been underserved and underrepresented. In her 26 years as a Texas educator, Mrs. McCormick has emerged as a leader excelling at partnership building developing high quality programs serving over 40,000 school age students and 5,000 adults in six federal grant-funded programs. Mrs. McCormick, along with her team, focused on transforming schools into college-going communities and have expanded services through the Center for Excellence in College and Career Readiness. Her philosophy is that all children will be successful if they are provided with the tools and the information needed and the results of her work epitomize the positive effects that may be leveraged through high-quality networks of support.