Wallace Foundation Resources




Navigating SEL From the Inside Out: Looking Inside & Across 18 Leading SEL Programs CoverNavigating SEL From the Inside Out: Looking Inside & Across 18 Leading SEL Programs: A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers—Middle & High School Focus

(December 2022)

One of the most popular resources in The Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center in recent years has been a guide to social and emotional learning (SEL) programs for preschool and elementary-age students. Now the research team behind that guide has taken an in-depth look at SEL programs for the middle and high school years. The publication is intended to help schools and out-of-school-time (OST) providers interested in SEL select programs that match their goals and resources.


States as Leaders, Followers, and Partners: Lessons from the ESSA Leadership Learning Community and the University Principal Preparation Initiative report cover.States as Leaders, Followers, and Partners: Lessons from the ESSA Leadership Learning Community and the University Principal Preparation Initiative

(November 2022)

​​Two different efforts by The Wallace Foundation in recent years sought to encourage states to take a more active role in shaping high-quality school principals. In this set of reflections on research about those endeavors, political scientist Paul Manna asks “what does recent evidence show about how states can foster conditions that identify new principals and enable them and their veteran colleagues to thrive in ways that support teaching and learning?”


Statewide Considerations Under ESSA report cover.The Long Game: How One Afterschool Intermediary Organization and Its Partners Shaped Policy, Practice, and Perception in California

(October 2022)

This Wallace Story From the Field was spurred in part by a milestone for the Partnership for Children & Youth, the decision by its founding executive director, Jennifer Peck, to step down from the post. The piece documents key moments in the group’s history and provides lessons for intermediary and other organizations that seek to advance out-of-school-time programming in their states.



Statewide Considerations Under ESSA report cover.All the Voices: Statewide Collaborations for School Leadership under ESSA

(September 2022)

The Wallace Foundation, working with the Council of Chief State School Officers; the Council of the Great City Schools; and the National Urban League, launched a novel effort to see if the law could be used by states and their districts, especially those serving high-need communities, to promote more effective and equity-minded school principals. The endeavor kicked off in 2016 and scheduled to formally conclude in 2022—was called the ESSA Leadership Learning Community, or ELLC.



Wallace Foundation Report CoverLessons from Six Case Studies of Schools and Their Out-of-School-Time Program Partners

(September 2022)

These reports share lessons learned from a set of case studies detailing how schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs in six communities have worked together to build students’ social and emotional (SEL) skills.

Read all six reports:

1. Prioritizing Racial Equity Within Social and Emotional Learning in Tacoma
2. Learning to Focus on Adult Social and Emotional Learning First in Tulsa
3. Engaging Teachers, Staff, and Parents in Social and Emotional Learning in Palm Beach County
4. Jointly Prioritizing Time for Social and Emotional Learning in Denver
5. Building an Effective Social and Emotional Learning Committee in Dallas
6. Expanding Social and Emotional Learning Beyond the School Walls in Boston

Wallace Foundation Podcast Cover ArtA Hot Time for Summer Learning

(August 2022)

In this podcast series, field experts, researchers and practitioners explore why summer matters and how to design, implement and fund high-quality programs that blend academics and enrichment​.






wallace resource federal funding summer afterschoolBuilding, Sustaining and Improving: Using Federal Funds for Summer Learning and Afterschool

(July 2022)

In the wake of the pandemic, summer learning and afterschool programs are getting increased attention because they can add learning time and promote children's well-being. This guide, developed by EducationCounsel, is designed for school districts, summer and afterschool intermediaries, out-of-school time providers, and municipal and state officials. It describes which federal funds can be tapped to make progress in three broad areas to support quality and access: Preparing for program delivery, building ecosystems of support and creating equitable learning environments.

Supporting Quality in Summer Learning: How Districts Plan, Develop, and Implement Programs 

(June 2022)

School district-led summer programs play a critical role in supporting students academically and providing them with enriching experiences. Drawing on existing research and the perspectives of policymakers and field professionals, this report looks at the policies, practices and resources that go into the planning, development and operation of these programs.





redesigning university principal preparation programs 2Redesigning University Principal Programs: A Systematic Approach for Change and Sustainability--Report in Brief 

(June 2022)

This publication summarizes the final report in a three-part series from the RAND Corporation's seven-year study. The researchers found that through collaboration with school districts, state organizations and others, universities can defy expectations about institutional resistance to change and bring about meaningful principal preparation program redesign.


 Developing Effective Principals report coverDeveloping Effective Principals: What Kind of Learning Matters? 

(May 2022)

High-quality principal development is linked to better outcomes for principals, teachers and students, but access to it varies by state and school poverty levels. Policy change can help.







Social and Emotional Learning in the Spotlight
Researcher Stephanie Jones and her team at Harvard’s EASEL Lab have been studying how to build children’s social and emotional skills since well before the pandemic and have recently published an updated and expanded guide to evidence-based SEL programs. Listen to Jones break down some of the key topics in the updated SEL guide and its new components.




 As the Pandemic Shifts So Does People’s Thinking About Arts and Culture

(March 2022)
A new survey by LaPlaca Cohen and Slover Linett finds most Americans believe that arts organizations can play a critical role in helping their communities during this time of continuing change and crises. In this resource, Jen Benoit-Bryan, Vice President and Co-Director of Research at Slover Linett breaks down findings and implications of the survey.


Wallace Summer SEL.1


Two Summer Programs Inch Towards Normal as Covid Subsides
(Mach 2022)
What can one summer do to help overcome the havoc Covid-19 has wreaked on young people’s lives? A fair bit, say staffers and parents at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in New Jersey and The Fresh Air Fund in New York City. The two programs are working to ease children back into the world, help them make friends again and rebuild the social and emotional skills they may have lost.





Let’s Talk Social and Emotional Learning Podcast
(February 2022)
In this podcast series, Lucas Held, director of communications at Wallace, talks with Stephanie Jones, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of the EASEL Lab, and Thelma Ramirez, a research associate at the EASEL Lab. The conversation topics range from what SEL is, how it has evolved over time and how it is practiced in schools today to a revised version of the researchers’ guide, Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out. Jones and Ramirez draw on new topics in this version of the guide, discussing trauma-informed SEL as well as the intersection of SEL and equity. 



A Place to be Heard_wallacefoundation  

A Place to be Heard; a Space to Feel Held: Black Perspectives on Creativity, Trustworthiness, Welcome and Well-Being
(January 2022)
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A study of Black Americans suggests that Black communities most value arts experiences that celebrate their creativity, support self-care, earn their trust and foster a sense of belonging. This study seeks to better understand cultural and creative preferences among Black communities.







Principal Pipeline Funding  Strong Pipelines, Strong Principals: A Guide for Leveraging Federal Sources to Fund Principal Pipelines
(December 2021)
This guide aims to help school district decision-makers understand the federal funding sources that can be tapped to develop sound principal pipelines by specifying seven categories along with indicators of progress and the federal funding sources that may be most promising for each one.
 Principal Leadership in a Virtual Environment img Principal Leadership in a Virtual Environment
(November 2021)
This report defines what high-quality, equitable learning looks like in a virtual environment and describes strategies for districts to consider in efforts to develop a pipeline of effective, equity-minded principals who have mastered operating in a virtual realm.
 Summer for All: Building Coordinated Networks Image Summer for All: Building Coordinated Networks to Promote Access to Quality Summer Learning and Enrichment Opportunities Across a Community
(November 2021)
This report looks at how schools, community-based organizations and other civic organizations in four cities — Boston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. — formed coordinated networks to increase access to high-quality summer programming for young people. 
 wallacefr Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out
(July 2021)
This updated and expanded guide to evidence-based SEL programs offers detailed information on 33 pre-K through elementary school programs, encompassing curricular content and program highlights. Practitioners from schools, early childhood education (ECE) providers and out-of-school time (OST) can use this resource to look “inside and across” programs to better understand program content and assess program fit with their district or community needs.
 sumlearnwallace 5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program 
(July 2021)
Everything from planning district-wide summer programs to maximizing resources available under the American Rescue Plan Act—and Wallace’s popular summer learning toolkit.
 s.gates.wallaceblog Think States Play No Role in Shaping Effective Principals? Think Again.
(July 2021)
States often tread lightly when it comes to assuming a full role in improving principal quality. They are concerned, among other things, about overreach into an area—public education—where local authority is prized. In this resource researcher Susan Gates discusses seven key policy levers to consider according to a recent RAND report published by Wallace.
 Prin.Role.inreop.Wallace Evidence-based Considerations for COVID-19 Reopening and Recovery Planning: The Role of Principal Leadership in School Recovery and Reopening 
(March 2021)
The American Rescue Plan Act has made funds available to states and districts to speed up recovery from the effects of COVID-19, including addressing learning loss. The Wallace Foundation has distilled evidence from its work that may be helpful in informing choices about how to spend those funds, as well as how to implement key strategies.
 AP Wallace Resource  The Role of Assistant Principals: Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership 
(April 2021)
The number of assistant principals has grown markedly in recent years, and with reconsideration, the AP role could do more to help foster educational equity, school improvement and principal effectiveness. The findings suggest the need for greater attention to the AP role by both the education community and researchers.
How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research
(February 2021)
​​​​​​​​An effective principal’s impact is stronger and broader than previously thought, making it “difficult to envision” a higher return on investment in K-12 education than the cultivation of high-quality school leadership, according to this research synthesis.
 Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a New Report on Summer Learning Benefits

(January 2021)

 These findings are important because research has shown the summer months, when school is out of session, to be a time of widening achievement and opportunity gaps between low-income students and their wealthier peers.


Video: Social and Emotional Learning in Action

(January 2021)

As part of our Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, six communities across the country are exploring whether and how children benefit when schools and out-of-school-time programs work together to build students’ SEL skills, and what it takes to make this happen.



Teachers are confident they can help build students’ social-emotional skills, but say they could use more support to do so, according to a RAND survey



The Alchemy of High-Performing Arts Organizations (August 2020)

Financial success for arts organizations begins with artistic excellence and cultural relevance, suggest interviews with leaders of 20 high-performing organizations.


SEL+OST=Perfect Together: A Conference Report (August 2020)

Afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time programs can be ideal settings for children to learn and build social and emotional well-being—when skilled and trusted adults are there to guide them, according to this conference report.


New Media Gets New Audiences into an Old Art Form(February 4, 2020)

Research, collaboration and web analytics help Seattle Opera make opera more meaningful to connected audiences.


How Communities Can Put Data to Work for Young People(January 28, 2020)

Four leaders in the out-of school-time field offer practical advice for harnessing data across organizations and schools. 

 Opera Ambassadors, Advice and Strategic Discounts Bring Newcomers to Minnesota Opera (January 21, 2020)

A mid-western company taps its networks and carefully crafts promotions to introduce new audiences to opera.


Research About the Arts and Kids: A Fertile Area for Inquiry (January 14, 2020)

Conference explores research about the availability, implementation and value of teaching children about the arts. 

 Museum-Resrc The Contemporary Jewish Museum Is Now (Also) a Family Destination(January 07, 2020)

New strategies and a new space have helped the museum welcome young visitors and sow the seeds for future growth.  
 Blog What 'Extraordinary Districts' Do Differently(Dec 17, 2019)

Education Trust podcast points to principal leadership, equity and early literacy as levers for improvement. 
 McCombs What It Takes to Make Summer a Time of Growth for All Young People(December 10, 2019)

Co-author discusses landmark National Academies of Sciences report on summer and children.  
 BuildingImpct Building Impact: A Closer Look at Local Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education(December 2019)

A study of initiatives in eight cities concludes that they are a calming force and "show promise". 

Year's Top Blog Posts Signal Interest in SEL, School Leadership(Dec. 4, 2019)

Read the most popular stories The Wallace Foundation published this year and the research that inspired them. 

 PerformanceReviews Performance Reviews Become a Tool for Developing Principals(November 26, 2019)

A new approach to evaluation helps a Tampa Principal focus on building parent engagement.
 Summer-Planning This Holiday Season, Start Planning for... Summer?(November 19, 2019)

Research shows that successful summer learning programs begin with early planning.
 New-Approach New Hiring Approach Helps District Make the Right Match Between Principal and School (November 12, 2019)

See how Prince George's County, Md., taps its talent efficient - and effective - principal placement.  
staff Staff Expertise, Careful Communications to Parents Fuel Successful SEL Efforts(November 06, 2019)

A forum raises considerations for those looking to integrate social and emotional learning into out-of-school settings.  
 loa 20th Lights On Afterschool: 1 million people, 10,000 events, 1,000s of lightings and billboards(October 25, 2019)
 principal-knowledge Keeping Current on the State of Knowledge About Principals and APs(October 22, 2019)

Scholars dig into latest research on three crucial topics in School Leadership.  

Putting Data to Work for Young People: A Ten-Step Guide for Expanded Learning Intermediaries   (October 2019)  

A step-by-step plan for collecting, analyzing, and managing data to improve decision making. 

 resource8 Five Steps to Generate Discussion about Arts Audiences

(October 01, 2019)

Story Series and companion discussion guides offer examples of audience building as a learning tool for arts organization.

 summertime Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-being for Children and Youth(September 26, 2019)  
 image Universities and Districts Team Up and Better Prepare Principals (September 24, 2019)

A four-part video series shares early lessons from seven district-university partnerships that are rethinking principal preparation.


What if Districts Focused Not Just on Preparing and Hiring Principals But Also Retaining Them(July 9, 2019)  

A New York City coaching Program helps keep principals - both new and veteran - on the job.

video Video: Series Shows How Universities, School Districts Can Team Up to Redesign How Principals are Prepared

Watch Principal Preparation: A roadmap for Reform and see how local partnerships are undertaking a complex process to rethink the way school leaders are prepared for the demands of the job.
 resource7 The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning

A Wallace Perspective identifies five practices that are key to the work of effective principals.
 principal   Systemic Approach to Developing School Leaders Pays Off for Principal Retention(April 26, 2019)


Research suggests principal pipelines could reduce school leader turnover.

 educationleader Education Leadership: Evidence and Implications(April 2019)

A Technical Assistance Briefing for U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor.
memo Memorandum: ESSA Evidence Review of the Principal Pipeline Initiative (April 2019)

A RAND study showing student achievement and principal retention benefits from principal pipelines meets research standards necessary for funding of pipelines under Title I and other sections of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
 principal pipelines Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools (April 2019)

Schools in large districts that built principal pipelines markedly outperformed similar schools in comparison districts in both reading and math, a groundbreaking RAND report finds.
 artsedu The Benefits of Arts Education for Urban Tweens(February 26, 2019)  

Webinar highlights publications and emerging lessons from the Boys & Girls Club's quality arts program. 
 Resources Wallace Foundation Shares Strategies for Sustaining a Pipeline for Well-Prepared Principals(February 14, 2019)

Could Federal Funding Help Pay for Arts Education in Your School?(January 23, 2019)

Authors of a new report discuss ways in which schools could get federal support for arts education and the results they could expect from it.

resource1 Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out (May 2017)

This in-depth guide to 25 evidence-based programs - aimed at elementary schools and out-of-school-time setting providers - offers information about curricular content and programmatic feautures that practitioners can use to make informed choices about their Social and Emotional Learning programs.

 Resouce10 Converting Family into Fans: How the Contemporary Jewish Museum Expanded its Reach(May 2016)

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco moves to a larger space and secures a nine-fold increase in family visitors of all backgrounds.  
 resources2 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (December 2015)

What does it mean to be an effective principal? An updated set of standards for the job spells out 10 essentials, including the ability to support rigorous instruction.

resource3 Improving University Principal Preparation Programs: Five Themes From the Field(Feb. 2016)

What is the state of university-based principal preparation programs? How are these essential training grounds of future school leaders viewed - by themselves as well as by the school districts that hire their graduates? Do the programs need to improve? If so, by what means? This publication answers those questions.
resource4 Leadership Succession Planning  

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, was engaged by the Wallace Foundation to conduct a mixed method study of succession planning in 700 of the nation’s large student enrollment urban school districts in an effort to identify exemplar districts with records of successfully sustaining such programs.

While approximately 10 percent of the districts were identified with elements of succession planning, approximately half were identified as having promising practices worthy of further study. Four districts were identified as exemplars.

Learn about the promising practices uncovered and the work of the four exemplar districts.

 resource5 Principal Pipeline Initiative 

Six large school districts have been participating since 2011 in The Wallace Foundation's Principal Pipeline Initiative, a six-year effort to train, hire and support talented principals.

Reports:Building a Stronger Principalship, Vol. 4: Evaluating and Supporting Principals (January 2016)

This report is the fourth in a series examining the six districts' experience in the initiative designed to help them build larger pools of strong principals and then study the results. It explores the districts' work to change their approach to principal performance evaluation so that it focuses on working with principals, especially novices, to grow into their jobs and concentrate on improving teaching and learning in their classrooms.

Videos: In this series of eight videos, the superintendents of these districts discuss the details of their effort, lessons they have learned and advice they can offer to other districts.

Coaching as a Way of Being(September 2019)                                                                                                              By: Jill A. Baker and Kelly D. An     
Valerie Truesdale on Leadership Services  
Pipeline Program Prepares Principals(August 2019)                                                                                                     By: Daniel A. Domenech  
Reaping Top Talent With a Data Harvest(June 2018)                                                                                                    By: Nicholas L. Pelzer  


Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning: Considerations for State Policy(Sept. 2015)  

Even though school principals have a powerful impact on teaching and student achievement, in general they remain relatively low priorities on crowded state education policy agendas. A new Wallace-commissioned report, written by Paul Manna, professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary,
suggests a number of possible actions that state policymakers can consider to raise the profile of principals on policy agendas and ensure they are well trained and well supported on the job. 

Districts Matter: Cultivating the Principals Urban Schools Need (Feb. 2013)  

A Wallace -commissioned report that focuses on the critical role that school districts play in shaping how their principals are trained, hired, mentored, evaluated and developed on the job. It outlines nine concrete tasks for districts that want to ensure that highly-qualified principals can effectively lead every school across the district


The Principal Story

is a 60-minute documentary (commissioned by The Wallace Foundation) about public school leadership and learning seen through the eyes of two very dynamic and passionate principals. Following these two principals and schools in depth for one year, the film takes the viewer along for a compelling, passion-filled ride that reveals what effective educational leadership looks like in the 21st century. The film was aired on Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) stations across America in fall 2009. The full film, outtakes and an interview with the filmakers is available on DVD from

Normadic Pictures
The Principal Story Learning Guide website

Research has identified five practices that can help school leaders succeed. The Principal Story Learning Guidewebsite uses the acclaimed PBS documentary to illustrate these practices. It also offers discussion prompts and other activities to guide those who train or develop school leaders.

North GrandDocumentary

This 25-minute special mini-documentary on North Grand High School in Chicago’s west side documents the dramatic effort of new principal Asuncion “Sunny” Ayala to transform her vision for high expectations into reality. Part of THE PRINCIPAL STORY documentary and media project, NORTH GRAND reveals the struggles and victories she faces during a one-year period as she works toward her goal of graduating 98 percent of her students. This story inspires greater understanding and raises questions about effective leadership at the high school level.

The North Grand Conversation Guide

Educators, policymakers and others interested in improving our nation’s high schools can use NORTH GRANDand its conversation guide to discuss what’s necessary to train and support high school leaders so they can close achievement gaps, enhance graduation rates and boost outcomes for all students.

    For more information on education leadership, summer learning, and arts learning, please visit the Wallace Knowledge Center website