The Life Excelerator: Social and Emotional Learning Pioneers

Einstein had said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Therefore, education should impart much more than just academic advancement upon a student; it should teach them about life, about interacting with society and about themselves. In this light, social and emotional learning (SEL) is helping students understand the importance of social, emotional, and behavioral skills in real life. The Life Excelerator, a Texas-based K12 solutions provider, is helping school districts establish a successful SEL initiatives that enable students to learn the skills they need to be successful in today’s world and ensure that their education doesn’t stop at a textbook’s last page.

Dennis Henegar, Co-Founder and CEO of The Life Excelerator, recalls the story of a little girl who was bullied at school for her shabby appearance. The little girl, whose hair was messy and wore wrinkled clothes, didn’t have any friends. The Life Excelerator’s “Leaps”, a student-based strategic program with social and emotional assessments and correlating lessons, suggested the classroom teacher to provide a detailed lesson on mutual respect for her class. As a group, the class needed to learn how to be kind and respectful to other people. As for the little girl, nobody had told her about personal hygiene so Leaps provided lesson plans for the teacher to work with her student one-on-one to address those issues. With the class lesson on mutual respect and the girl’s personalized course on personal hygiene, the student was well on her way to fitting in, not just with her class mates, but more confidently towards societal integration as a whole. “Social and emotional skills are taught in every classroom in America. Leaps makes sure the right skills are taught and taught effectively!” adds Henegar.

Leaps is a result of 25 years of research and real world application in both mental health and education. Today, Leaps is the most comprehensive SEL Platform on the market, addressing Behavior & School Culture, PBIS, Behavior RtI and MTSS. The tool also directs Fidelity of Implementation which means it turnkey, one-stop-shop solution for one of our educational system’s biggest problems.

Leaps has been widely implemented by hundreds of U.S. schools in more than 50 school districts.
For instance, in a Florida school district, an in-depth 3rd party review was conducted regarding Leaps, and significant improvements in standardized test results and SEL skills were found. This demonstrates that students did in fact benefit significantly through SEL made possible by Leaps.

Social and emotional skills are taught in every classroom in America. Leaps makes sure the right skills are taught and taught effectively!

Leaps helps classroom teachers using a classroom observational assessment, the teachers answer questions about what they observe in their classroom and Leaps gives them a game plan for teaching a particular skill that addresses the challenges they observed.

Leaps also provides individual student assessments which identify key strengths and deficits. These assessments then suggest specific lessons to teachers to increase social awareness and grow emotional intelligence thereby reinforcing the positive behavior in the student. It changes the entire classroom atmosphere when the student knows that the teacher cares more about them than their grades. As Henegar quotes Roosevelt, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

The company’s mission is to make sure all educators understand what SEL is and how it can benefit their students and their classroom by making the assessments easier to use and making them more interactive. At the same time, the company continues to make improvements to make Leaps easier to use. So, they will launch an online benchmarking tool—which will be made available free of cost to all teachers—to help them identify existing and potential SEL risk among their students.

The Life Excelerator

Austin, TX

Dennis Henegar, Co-Founder & CEO

The Life Excelerator uses unique, proven methodologies and technology to develop and deliver solutions for social and emotional development

The Life Excelerator