SEL Curriculum Writer

TRAILS

THE ORGANIZATION

Founded at the University of Michigan Medical School, TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) is among the most innovative and rapidly-growing school-based mental health solutions in the country. After a decade in the academic setting, TRAILS spun out from the University in 2022 and became fiscally sponsored by Tides Center with approximately 35 staff. Within a year, our staff size had more than doubled. Today, our growing team is working toward the TRAILS mission of transforming the landscape of youth mental health care delivery by equipping school staff with the training and resources they need to provide evidence-based and culturally responsible programming to their students. 

To date, TRAILS has brought essential skills and resources to more than 14,000 teachers, administrators, and school mental health professionals. Our best-in-class program materials are built specifically for the school setting, and our unique training model is driven by research from the field of implementation science. Our website and library of materials are utilized by educators and clinicians across the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world. While our impact today is greatest in our home state of Michigan, TRAILS is expanding nationally with strong support from education and health sector leaders, public offices, and state policymakers. 

As we work to respond to massive demand for TRAILS programming from schools and districts throughout the United States, our team is guided by a core commitment to equity: The TRAILS growth strategy identifies Title I designated schools as our broadest target population, and we aim specifically to impact students who experience high risk for poor mental health outcomes and disproportionate barriers to quality care. As we grow our team, we seek candidates who share our commitment to equity in health and healthcare access, who practice cultural humility, and who thrive in and contribute to an inclusive working environment.

THE TRAILS 3-TIERED MODEL 

TRAILS program offerings align with the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework common within the educational setting. Currently, TRAILS equips school staff to provide three tiers of programming for students: 

  • Tier 1 Social and Emotional Learning Program: Training for educators and a comprehensive curriculum designed for delivery in the classroom setting to promote mental wellness for all students
  • Tier 2 CBT and Mindfulness Program: Training and resources for school mental health professionals that equip them to deliver effective supports for students experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety
  • Tier 3 Suicide Prevention and Risk Management Program: Differentiated trainings for the whole school community and resources that promote effective policies and practices for navigating student suicidality   

Together, these three tiers enable schools to build a comprehensive system of mental health supports, providing a foundation of self-care and wellness skills for all students, while offering higher intensity interventions and services for students with more significant mental health needs. 

 

THE ROLE

We are seeking a passionate and dedicated Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum Writer for a limited term employment opportunity to contribute to the TRAILS SEL Expansion Strategic Initiative. In the next two years, Tier 1 will be developing an SEL curriculum with explicit and comprehensive lessons for each grade level, along with in-lesson, supplemental, and implementation resources. Working closely with the Tier 1 Senior Materials Manager and Tier 1 SEL Specialists, the SEL Curriculum Writer will be responsible for generating ideas and written content for engaging students and supporting implementers in the forms of  lesson agendas, slide decks, videos, activities, and other resources to support the social-emotional development of students. 

At this time, TRAILS Strategic Initiatives are defined as projects that are backed by specific time limited legislative funding. As such, the role is considered to be limited term employment that will not go beyond December 2026. The position is considered a TRAILS team member and will receive full benefits during employment. If a regular, long-term role of interest to the team member becomes available at any point, the temp team member will be encouraged to apply.  

Material Development & Delivery (90%)

  • With the guidance, support, and oversight from the Tier 1 Senior Materials Manager, develop SEL lessons and associated lesson resources that align with organizational objectives and standards
  • With a thorough understanding of Tier 1’s current grade-banded SEL curriculum as baseline, prepare materials and resources needed for SEL lessons, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity
  • Design interactive and age-appropriate activities that promote self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making
  • Collaborate consistently with Tier 1 SEL Curriculum Writers to ensure clinical conceptual and language alignment
  • Maintain accurate records of lesson plans, resources, and revisions for future reference and evaluation
  • Collaborate with the Tier 1 team to ensure consistency and coherence across all SEL materials (e.g., reviewing and providing feedback during material development)
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams (e.g. materials, design) to design and format content into usable and engaging resources
  • Ensure that materials development and revisions remains grounded in up-to-date, evidence-based practices and current research
  • With the guidance of the Tier 1 Senior Materials Manager and the DEI material review workgroup, ensure Tier 1 program materials are diverse, inclusive, trauma-informed, and representative of TRAILS target population
  • Contribute to development of communications (e.g., newsletters, announcements) related to changes in TRAILS Tier 1 programming and materials
  • As needed, support with the content development of TRAILS SEL workshops and trainings
  • Work with Tier 1 and evaluation teams to prepare tools that measure fidelity and impact assessment of Tier 1 materials
  • When needed, collaborate with other departments or teams, such as tech innovations, design, and communications, to ensure alignment and integration of SEL initiatives with broader organizational objectives 

Team Responsibilities (10%)

  • Participate in team meetings to discuss project goals, timelines, and strategies for developing SEL curriculum and resources
  • Share knowledge, best practices, and resources with team members to foster continuous learning and improvement
  • Actively engage in discussions about effective SEL practices and innovative teaching methods
  • Attend regular check-in and feedback meetings with the Tier 1 Senior Materials Manager and/or the Tier 1 SEL Specialist, ensuring alignment with project goals and objectives
  • As needed, participate in organizational workgroups (e.g. DEI) and participate in all-staff and cross-team collaborative meetings

 

THE PERSON 

Our experience suggests that the following types of professional experiences lend themselves to this work:

  • 2- 5 years of proven experience in curriculum development, preferably in the field of social-emotional learning or related areas.
  • 2+ years demonstrated experience in K-12 school settings (or related settings) with expertise as it relates to developmental and learning needs of K-12 students
  • Strong understanding of social-emotional competencies and their importance in education.
  • Demonstrated writing proficiency and ability to develop written content that is creative, accessible, and usable
  • Proficiency in multimedia software/tools for resource creation (e.g., Google Slides, PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Suite).
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Attention to detail and a commitment to producing high-quality, evidence-based resources.
  • Experience working in educational settings or with youth populations is highly desirable.

 

EDUCATION

Our experience suggests the following certifications and degree(s) lend themselves well to this work:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Education, Psychology, Counseling, or a related field (Master’s degree preferred).
  • Applicable experience and competencies may be considered in lieu of formal education

 

COMPENSATION

The salary range for this role is $84,726 – 89,433.

TRAILS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and vision as well as a 403B with a safe harbor match and short and long term disability. We offer a generous holiday and paid time off package.

 

APPLICATION NOTES

  • Application questions:
    • Please describe an example of SEL curriculum or related written work you helped create that most closely relates to this position. 
    • Please share an example of how you have tailored curriculum or related written work to meet specific student needs.
  • We are only considering applicants who are legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Our job descriptions reflect TRAILS’ assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing herein restricts management’s right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time. 
  • Please note that all TRAILS employees are required to undergo a background check as performed by our fiscal sponsor, Tides Center. Findings do not automatically exclude candidates from the hiring process, but will be taken into consideration.

OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION 

Addressing inequities in access to evidence-based mental health care is intrinsic to the TRAILS mission. The intentionality behind this approach is woven into everything we do at TRAILS, resulting in a staff-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for all facets of our program. If this commitment is something to which you could positively contribute, we encourage you to apply, particularly if your voice represents a historically excluded perspective. 

TRAILS, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

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