Welcome Back To School… Sorta


Your SiLAS family hopes you all had a happy and safe summer. We understand the tremendous amount of pressure that you, your families, your students and their families are under, and we are here to help.

SEL has never been more important.  It’s reported by Unicef, that as the pandemic continues, nearly 3 in 10 parents have reported their child experiencing mental health distress due to social distancing and school closures.  (That is in addition to the number of general and special education students that were struggling prior.)

As you all know, our simulation software can be used in class or virtually, and increases children’s coping skills, improves behavior and helps keep children connected and engaged.  A huge benefit to both you and your student’s parents.

With users throughout the United States, SiLAS saw the need to adapt and add to our program to provide implementation options for almost any setting. Over the summer, our development team was in full swing..Whether you are return user, or brand new to SiLAS, We think you will love what you see

Remember, our curriculum is fully provided and we have free and continual training.


The most obvious development is the overall look and feel of the SiLAS website. As the number of organizations using SiLAS continues to diversify, so does our curriculum. Not only is the site more appealing, but you will find it easier to navigate. The buttons for each component are now color coded. By using different colors, you can access the topic you are looking for in no time!  Below are a few enhancements made to the curriculum over the summer.

  • With SiLAS, Social Emotional Learning can occur if you are Six Feet Apart from your classmate, or Six Miles Away  from your classmate. With our three “create” features, the animation process can be accommodated for use in any educational setting.

  • Have a question? Check out the “Tutorials and Cheat Sheets” tab to find the answer! A series of brief, step by step videos for each of the SiLAS components is right at your fingertips.  Here is a link to our Training Modules as well.

  • The “Movie Library” tab is where you will find your student created animations and  a wide-variety of example videos with topics ranging from “Introductions” to “What is Social Distancing?”  These movies are great for showing the entire class or as a social narrative for an individual student.

By now you may be feeling like you are watching a late night Infomercial…WAIT! There’s more! And there absolutely is MORE!

  • SiLAS has added SEL lessons focusing on the timely and crucial topic of cultural diversity, discrimination and empathy. Our curriculum scope has been updated and with both the new and original lessons addressing the topic.

  • Do you teach students life skills? Are your students transition aged? If so, today is your lucky day! The Social Vocational tab has been updated to include Transition and Vocational Skills. Keep an eye out for teacher resources and materials relating specifically to life skills and transition IEP components.

  • Another change you may have noticed is that the “analytics” section has been given a new name, “Progress Monitoring.” With the new name comes additional student progress measures. Monitoring a student’s performance is a necessity for ALL students. SiLAS has made data collection quick and simple. Each lesson now includes a pre/post test to gather baseline data and skill performance after the lesson. The student activities included in each lesson can also be completed, submitted and assessed. Practitioners still have the opportunity to score student animations as well.

What hasn’t changed is the promise to our users.. As always, the SiLAS team is available to answer any question, brainstorm any ideas, or listen to a comment. Our training has continued across the country through the use of the tutorial library or “live” virtual training. Remember, this is at no cost to you or your district. We look forward to another great, albeit unbelievable, year!

End of Year Teacher Tips

That’s a Wrap! 

Summer is always a welcome time of year. Some may say this summer could not come soon enough. The end of the school year can be a very stressful time. Educator or not, male or female, rich or poor, young or old,  these last few months have taken a toll on society’s mental health. So often misunderstood, an individual’s mental well-being has now come out from behind the shadows. From doctors to politicians and everyone in between is speaking out the importance of recognizing and addressing your overall wellness, starting with your mental health. While our SiLAS team has a wealth of experience and knowledge on this matter, we feel it is more appropriate to provide our users with focused, empirical, and relevant resources and information. Please consider both accessing them yourself and sharing with others. Most importantly, if you are someone you know is considering suicide, please call the suicide prevention hotline.

We are All in This Together! 





Resources for Children and Youth



Make the Most of Your Family Zoom Time

Zoom isn’t just for boring meetings anymore! Online platforms like Zoom are being used to bring family and friends together. Just talking can get REALLY boring. Below are some fun game ideas to use during your Zoom visits! 



We here at SiLAS wish everyone of you relaxing, healthy, and enjoyable time away! Focus on YOU! 

CARES ACT: Finding Funding in the Midst of COVID-19

What is the CARES Act? 

“The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses, and preserves jobs for American industries.” –US Treasury 

How does the CARES Act Support Educational Funding? 

CARES Act’s Education Stabilization Fund has dedicated  $30.7 billion dispersed among the states to spend on education. Below is the breakdown of amounts by category. Click to find dollar amount by state. $13.2 billion Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund 

  • $14 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
  • $3 billion Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund, which governors can use for “significantly impacted” school districts or higher education institutions.

What are the “CARES Act” included in the CARES Act helping schools to fund SEL programs like SiLAS? 

  • Any activity authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Education Act of 1965
  • Activities to address the unique needs of students with disabilities and English learners, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
  • Providing principals and others school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools.
  • Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
  • Developing and implementing procedures and system to improve the preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies.
  • Planning for and coordinating during long-term closures, including for how to provide meals to eligible students, how to provide technology for online learning to all students, how to provide guidance for carrying out requirements under IDEA and how to ensure other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all Federal, State, and local requirements.
  • Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
  • Providing mental health services and supports.
  • Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
  • Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.

Funding Provisions of ESEA to Meet CARES Act Programs


  • Title I: Support for the economically disadvantaged
  • Title II: Support for professional development for educators
  • Title IV: Student support and academic achievement
  • Part B Funding: Federal funding to states for the education of children with disabilities and requires, as a condition for the receipt of such funds, the provision of a FAPE to children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21