Click here to download agenda with registration links.

The Newark Trust for Education (NTE) is proud to announce the fourth annual Safe and Supportive Learning Environments Summit: Centering Children and Families! This year’s summit will focus on the exploration of existing and emerging approaches to creating safe and supportive learning environments in schools, in homes and in community. Over three days (May 10th – 12th), participants will hear keynote remarks delivered by local advocates and experts, including Anfal Muhammad-Jenkins and Safir Jenkins of Newark SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council); DeNiqua Matias, Executive Director for Clinton Hill Community and Early Childhood Center; and Douglas McNeill Reed, Director of Partnerships for Black Men Heal. During each session summit speakers, panelists, and facilitators will also share their views on the role of healthy multigenerational family and community relationships in supporting the socio-emotional and academic development of all children.

Participants and presenters will also explore and critique NTE’s emerging engagement framework. The proposed strategy highlights the merits of community-driven, culturally responsive models that harmonize local practices with sector-developed standards of excellence. The plan aims to create intentional and routine opportunities for community members— emphasizing the participation of families and caregivers of children ages 0 to eighteen—to gather and share information, provide input, and make informed decisions to determine improvement and growth strategies for their communities.

This summit is made possible due to the generosity of Columbia Bank, Victoria Foundation, Prudential Foundation, and Leon and Toby Cooperman Foundation


NOTE: Each day requires separate registration.

Click here to register for Day #1

DAY #1 - Tuesday May 10, 2022 (9:30 am - 1:30pm)

Opening Remarks (9:30 am - 9:50 am)
(Presented by Ronald Chaluisán, Executive Director, Newark Trust for Education)

Keynote Address (9:50 am to 10:50 am)
Psychological Safety for Thriving Students, Thriving Families, and a Thriving Society
This keynote underscores the importance of establishing and maintaining an inclusive learning environment that promotes humanness, exploration, risk-taking, leadership, and pronounced participation. Participants will learn about fostering meaningful student support to activate thriving students, thriving families and, ultimately, a thriving society. (Presented by Anfal Muhammad-Jenkins – Executive Director, Newark SEPAC and Saafir Jenkins – Chief Public Affairs Officer, Newark SEPAC).

Session 1 (11:05 am - 12:20 pm)
Centering Students and Families Through Schoolwide SEL
This interactive discussion will explore the perspectives of students, families and educators on the importance of social emotional learning initiatives at their schools and highlight learnings from five schools engaged in long-term systemic SEL work as part of NTE’s Building School Wide SEL program from January, 2020- June, 2022, through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Moderated by Tiffany Jackson, Director, Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial)

BREAK & Belmont Runyon Family Engagement Showcase (12:20pm - 12:35 pm)

Session 2 (12:35pm - 1:30 pm)
Sustainability & Equity in Schoolwide SEL: Roseville Community Charter School’s Journey
This presentation will highlight the importance of building strong teams, embedding continuous improvement and engaging stakeholders in building sustainable and equitable social emotional learning initiatives in schools. Participants will hear learnings about how family engagement strategies support long-term SEL work.
(Presented by Roseville Community Charter School SEL Leadership and Team)

Click here to register for Day #2

DAY #2 - Wednesday May 11, 2022 (9:30am - 1:30pm)
SSLE at Home

Opening Remarks (9:30 am - 9:50 am)
(Presented by Ronald Chaluisán, Executive Director, Newark Trust for Education)

Keynote Address (9:50 am to 10:50 am)
There's No Place Like Home: Recognizing the Value in Home Based Child Care
The recent global pandemic highlighted how critical child care is to a functioning world. Home based, or family child care programs in particular, have played an important role in helping families return to work. This address recognizes the value that home based programs bring to the overall system of early care and education, while celebrating them for the professionals they are. (Presented by DeNiqua Matias, Assistant Director, Clinton Hill Community and Early Childhood Center)

BREAK (10:50am - 11:00 am)

Session 1 (11:00 am- 12:15 pm)
The Newark CARES Network: Centering FCC Providers and Families
This session includes a presentation and community connection discussion meant to energize and stimulate new ideas and strategies that will shape the Newark Cares Network. Participants will learn about the network’s journey to date and engage in small groups to consider how the network might position itself as a “for us, by us” entity toward FCC sustainability and taking back and redefining quality.
(Kalimah Wilson, NTE, Stacey Alicea, NTE, Maria Stephen, Unified Vailsburg Service Organization, DeNiqua Matias, Clinton Hill Community and Early Childhood Center, Orlene Cummings, Twin Flames Daycare, Khadeejah Cooks, Salafy Daycare)

BREAK (12:15 pm - 12:30 pm)

Session 2 (12:30 pm- 1:30 pm)
Honor Yourself: Tools for Integrating Self-care and Wellness into Daily Routines
You are worth ease, care, and time for reflection. In this session participants will exp-lore five areas of self-care and create a plan for implementing routines to help us relax, relate, and release.
(Presented by Evelyn Alvarez, Trainer, Coach, Radio host, Community Doula & Connector)

Click here to register for Day #3

DAY #3 - Thursday May 12, 2022 (9:30am - 1:30pm)
SSLE in Community

Opening Remarks (9:30 am - 9:50 am)
(Presented by Ronald Chaluisán, Executive Director, Newark Trust for Education)

Keynote Address (9:50 am to 10:50 am)
Maintaining Wellness at Home, School and Work
This keynote will address how to create safe spaces for parents, children, and teachers by identifying the 8 Dimensions of Wellness, which provide a holistic harmony for one's personal well-being.
(Presented by Douglas McNeill Reed, Director of Partnerships, Black Men Heal)

Session 1 (10:50 am- 11:35 am)
Acknowledging Barriers: Engaging Male Caregivers to Improve Outcomes for Children
This session includes a father-centered, guided discussion to support moving from mother and female caregiver focused engagement, to full family engagement. This session will address Why and How to eliminate personal and professional barriers to father engagement in support of children’s health and development, by building positive, supportive relationships in homes, schools, and communities.
(Panelist: Leonard Davis, FELLAS Program; David Armstrong, Better Together; Emmanuel F. Larose, MBA, Newark Community Health Centers; Saafir Jenkins, Newark SEPAC)

BREAK (11:35am - 11:50 am)

Session 2 (11:50 am- 12:35 pm)
Collaborating for Success: Empowering Women in Community Leadership for Healthier Families
In this session participants will meet a group of women who will share their experiences of learning, connection, and empowerment as they endeavor to become community leaders in Newark. Session participants will engage in small group discussions with these women to explore and discuss the support needed for integration into community groups that make decisions affecting the education, health and well being of families.
(Early Learning and P-12 Teams with Nicole Pratt from SPAN. Empowered Women: Mary Omole, Cynthia Basheer, Shannon Ingraham, Tiffany Lawson Newton, Machion Westbrook-Crawford, and Bendue James)

SEL Awards (12:50pm - 1:30 pm)
NTE Social-Emotional Learning Honors: Community Champions
This year, the Newark Trust for Education will honor trailblazers who inspire, develop strong relationships and promote resilience and social-emotional growth in their work. In addition, NTE Community Champions exemplify the core values of collaboration and integrity and consistently use their time, actions and talents towards strengthening their community.
(Presented by My’chal Wilkins)



On May 10-13, 2021 the Newark Trust for Education hosted its Third Annual Safe and Supportive Learning Environments Summit. This city-wide summit provided an opportunity to engage with like minds around the impact that social-emotional competencies and trauma have on learning. Participants also learned about local and national best practices on whole school/district approaches to SEL and trauma-informed care, while learning about the positive work being done in Newark Public Schools.

Click here for details.


Nurturing and Responsive Relationships: Parents and Caregivers Creating Safe Space for Social and Emotional Development (Presented by Abbott Leadership Institute Parent Leaders and Staff; Newark Trust for Education's ParentChild+ Parent Leaders and Staff)

Targeted Social Emotional Supports: Positive Action in Three School Settings (Presented by Avon Avenue School, Belmont Runyon Community School, and Spencer Miller Community School)

Weaving SEL into Classroom Instruction & School Culture: Second Step Pre K - 3  (Presented by Franklin Elementary School, Dr. William H. Horton Elementary School, George Washington Carver Elementary School, and the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education NJCIE)



Widen the Scope: School-based Mental Health Services in Newark (by Pritha Gopalan, Ph.D., Stephanie Parry, and Ronald Chaluisán)


Resources for Integrating Social Emotional Learning into Early Literacy Development

2018 SSLE Summit Resources



Plenary Session - Intensive School-Based Mental Health Interventions: How do we measure quality?  (Panelists include Keri Logosso-Misurell, Esq.-Director,  Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition; Tashia Martin, MSW, LSW-Newark BOE Office of Student Support Services; Sakina Pitts, Principal-Chancellor Avenue School; Courtne Thomas,Ed.D.- Special Assistant, Newark BOE Office of Student Support Services; and Dr. Lauren Wells, Ph.D.- Founder & CEO, CREED Strategies; Facilitated by Dr. Isaiah Pickens-Founder, iOpening Enterprises)


Social and Emotional Learning: A Catalyst for Academic Achievement
(Panelists include Tiffany Lee – Family Child Care Initiative Director, ParentChild+; Samantha Lott-Velez – Executive Director, NPS Office of Early Childhood; and Dr. Michelle Smith Macchia, Ed.D. – Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education; Facilitated by Rasheba Stevenson – Director of Early Learning Strategy, Newark Trust for Education)


Nurturing & Responsive Relationships: Parents/ Caregivers Creating Safe Spaces for Social & Emotional Development
(Presented by Abbott Leadership Institute Parent Leaders Yolanda Greene and Carolota Tagoe; and ParentChild+ Parent Leaders Ana Muy and Tihesah Shearin)


Weaving SEL into Classroom Instruction & School Culture: Second Step in Pre-K – 3rd Grade

(Presented by Benjamin Franklin Elementary School: Amy Panitch – Vice Principal and Paige Miller – Teacher; Dr. William H. Horton Elementary School: Sharanda Evans-Humes – Vice Principal and Diana Moreno – Teacher; George Washington Carver Elementary School: Jessica Williams – Vice Principal; and NJ Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE): Dawn Cuccolo, M.Ed. – Director of Special Projects and Kristy Ritvalsky, MPH – Inclusion Facilitator)



Targeted Social Emotional Supports: Positive Action in Three School Settings

(Presented by Avon Avenue School: Ryshan Johnson – Vice Principal of K-8 Culture; Belmont Runyon Community School: Sherell Benders-Smith – Vice Principal; and Spencer Miller Community School: Darline Jamison – Academic Interventionist, Wendy Muñoz – Principal; and Anthony Nuñez – School Operations Manager/ Community School Director; Facilitated by Izabelle Denizé, Grants Manager-Newark Trust for Education)


Cultivating SEL Skills Through the Arts: The Importance, Alignment & Opportunities

(Panelists include Sophia Domeville – School Operations Manager/ Community School Director, Belmont Runyon Community School; Bob Morrison – Director, Arts Ed NJ; and Alison Scott-Williams – Vice President of Arts Education, NJPAC; and and Denisah Williamson, M.S.W., FP YOUTHOUTCRY/ THE HUBB; Facilitated by Lauren Meehan – Director, Newark Arts Education Roundtable; )


Engaging Older Youth with SEL Concepts and Strategies: Two Perspectives, One Vision
(Panelists include Mark Comesañas – Executive Director of Programs & Instruction, Newark Opportunity Youth Network, and Dr. Ivan Lamourt – Assistant Headmaster for Student Life, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School; Facilitated by Ronald Chaluisán-Executive Director, Newark Trust for Education)



Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
Here you will find detailed information about evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and how to make SEL an integral part of education from preschool through high school. This website also includes a sample whole-school framework for creating safe and supportive learning environments.

National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development
Here you will find key resources on integrating social, emotional, and academic development in preK-12 education including case studies that illustrate how districts, schools, and educators are going about this work, research briefs articulating the scientific support behind social, emotional, and academic development and presentations.

National School Climate Center
This website provides information and resources on how schools can create safe, supportive learning environments that nurture social and emotional, civic, and academic growth for all students. It also includes research and policy data on school climate initiatives across the country.

New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards
This link provides access to the NJDOE preschool standards, along with optimal teaching practices for the following content areas: Social/Emotional Development, Visual and Performing Arts, Health, Safety, and Physical Education, English Language Arts, Approaches to Learning, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Family, and Life Skills, World Languages, Technology. The document concludes with a bibliography of books, articles, and periodicals that are valuable resources for any professional library.

New Jersey SEL Competencies and Sub-Competencies
This link provides access to the New Jersey SEL competencies and sub-competencies, which provides schools with guidelines for integrating SEL across grades and subject areas.

Social Emotional Learning Alliance for New Jersey (SEL4NJ)
SEL4NJ is an affiliate of SEL4US, a national network of state alliances promoting social-emotional learning (SEL) and related approaches. SEL4NJ replaces the New Jersey School Health and Climate Coalition as the statewide organization that brings together the wide variety of educational, professional and community organizations to promote awareness and provide support for those working to incorporate SEL into their school culture. Here you will find a host of resources for educators, families, policymakers, communities, and businesses.

Trauma Learning Policy Initiative
This website provides a sample whole-school framework for trauma-sensitive schools, helpful resources on trauma, and sample district and state policy initiatives focusing on Safe and Supportive Schools.