LA Unified School District To Implement Social And Emotional Learning Program

The Social Express, a web-based program for students struggling with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, and other social learning challenges, has been selected by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to support social and emotional learning in classrooms across the district. With more than 650,000 K-12 students in nearly 1,000 facilities district-wide, LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation.

Incorporating cognitive behavioral research and evidence-based social learning practices, the lessons in The Social Express use Hollywood-style animation to model the social skills integral to relationship building as well as career and life success. The animated webisodes target 14 different skills and multi-tiered user levels, and are supported by quizzes, worksheets, and offline activities. In addition, students have access to a private social network, The Clubhouse, which serves as an extension of the lessons where students can practice their skills and make friends in a safe environment.

“The Social Express offers a comprehensive curriculum and guide containing the very foundations of social and emotional skills that we are required to teach,” said Amy Nguyen, special education specialist for LAUSD. “It is easy for teachers to use, and fun for the students.”

Through a student management system called “Central Station,” The Social Express allows teachers and professionals to manage individual student and group use of the program, track usage and progress, run reports, and export data for IEP reporting compliance. Activities in The Social Express adhere to the California State Board of Education Content Standards and the Common Core State Standards.

“Research shows quite clearly that children with social learning challenges have a much harder time succeeding at school and in the workplace. Despite this, the unfortunate reality is that far too few schools provide support in this area,” said Marc Zimmerman, founder and CEO of The Social Express. “We applaud LAUSD officials for acknowledging the need to provide social skills instruction to its challenged learners and helping them develop the skills necessary for life-long success.”