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Compassionate School Leadership Academy

The Center for Educational Improvement (CEI), in collaboration with Yale University Department of Psychiatry’s Program for Recovery and Community Health (Yale PRCH) is establishing a nationwide network of educational leaders trained in Compassionate School Practices (CSPs) through the Compassionate Schools Leadership Academy (CSLA).


Building upon a four-year partnership between CEI and Yale PRCH, the CSLA will work to combat the challenges faced by students and teachers, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health crises for children, budget constraints, and changing sociopolitical landscapes, in preparing leaders to create inclusive learning environments.

Compassionate School Leadership Academy (CSLA): A Path Forward To Lift Schools Up


The CSLA is funded by an award from the US Department of Education.


The CSLA aims to prepare school leaders in high-need districts to be culturally responsive and proactive in implementing trauma-conscious practices in the classroom and meet the urgent mental health needs of American children.


Prepare school leaders to be culturally responsive

Provide school leaders with the skills to implement trauma-conscious and evidence-based social-emotional learning leadership practices

Increase school leader competence in compassionate school practices, academic learning, and the well-being of students and staff

Phase 1:  Feasibility study


The Feasibility Study will invite educational leaders in Massachusetts and Michigan to assist in the creation of the CSLA to ensure it is responsive to the needs of educators, feasible for all schools to implement, culturally competent, flexible, and personalized to you and your school.


To learn more, please complete this survey, then join us in an information session to learn more about the CSLA, how you can help, and the benefits to you and your school (date TBD). Contact:

Phase 2: A national dissemination of the School-Compassionate Culture Analytical Tool for Educators (S-CCATE)

In collaboration with NAESP, the second phase of the CSLA will survey middle school principals and educators to examine the relationship between the degree of implementation of CSPs and system, organization, educator, and student characteristics with a focus on addressing racial equity and ensuring inclusion. This focus will additionally aid in downstream goals of diversifying school leadership and the larger academy.


This phase will utilize the S-CCATE (School Compassionate Culture Analytical Tool for Educators), a cutting edge, social emotional learning tool that helps educators vision, plan, and monitor progress toward the implementation of compassionate, trauma-informed practices in classrooms. The survey will work additionally to modify the S-CCATE to improve cultural competence and equity. 

Phase 3: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of CSLA in 80 middle schools to examine its multi-level impact on student and educator outcomes

In Year 2, the CSLA will be implemented in 80 middle schools in partnership with MEMSPA and other school districts to determine which components, or combinations thereof, may be most associated with the uptake of CSPs and outcomes. This will allow educational leaders to additionally have the opportunity for three levels of CSLA micro credentialing.

Meet our Project Partners

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