How Satchel Pulse helps to improve students’ SEL skills

Satchel Pulse is a district toolbox to accurately identify students’ individual Social Emotional Learning needs and guide their instruction. Our centralized solution provides school districts with targeted interventions, expert strategies and a creative library of SEL lessons.


Rock Falls Elementary School District #13 in Rock Falls, IL is a preschool through 8th-grade district. Each year they serve approximately 1,000 students through their four buildings: Riverdale PreSchool Center, Dillon Elementary (K-2), Merrill Elementary (3-5) and Rock Falls Middle School (6-8). With a total of 65 staff, the district has been using Satchel Pulse since August 2022.

Rock Falls ESD 13 logo

Dr. Tara Kristof,
Assistant Superintendent
Rock Falls Elementary School District #13

Why did you choose Satchel Pulse?

I made a point to talk to your sales team in the summer of 21. I spoke with Joe in your team who said we have some new updates and quickly showed me how there was a new graphic with the student and teacher overlap. Then we spoke again back in September and he showed me the SELessons. Not only does Satchel Pulse have the library resources but we also have lessons. So teachers can just download these lessons and they don't have to create PowerPoints, it's all done for them. Satchel Pulse goes a step further and gives actual lessons prepared for teachers. This helped us to choose Satchel Pulse and also because it has the student voice piece with screeners that only take a couple of minutes to complete.

When a student is flagged up from the screener, the diagnostic also just takes a couple of minutes. We love the student piece and how easy it is for students to receive and complete the screeners. The other thing we loved was your rubric. Satchel Pulse gives us a rubric where we do not have to interpret the results ourselves, it is all automatically done for us. The reason we choose Satchel Pulse was because of the rubric, the SEL resources, the quickness of the product, and your sales team always answering all of our questions.

We’ve done our first screening and our teachers like how easy it is to complete. They also like how there is no interpretation of the results needed from them because there is a rubric for each of the CASEL standards. The administrators and school counselors are seeing how important the data we receive from Satchel Pulse is. What we're now seeing is that there is a huge disconnect in our district, between what students are feeling and internalizing, and what teachers are seeing in the classroom. Satchel Pulse gives us the data that we needed to see. On top of that, the SEL library has been a huge help for us because now as we group students, we are now able to have those resources for tier two and tier three, by sub-skill, not by standard, but by sub-skill, which is invaluable to us.

Satchel Pulse goes a step further and gives actual SEL lessons prepared for teachers.

What results have you had with Satchel Pulse?

What has transpired is a really good conversation and now we're starting to see what is really happening with these students in our district. For example yesterday, I sat with the middle school principal and the school counselor, and half of the kids that were flagged in the screeners are a minority. Our minority population in seventh grade is maybe 15%, of which 90% of those are in tier three. This shows that we've got a disconnect, and most of that, believe it or not, was student-reported. The amount of minority students we have in tier two and three is a problem because it should be a fraction of that. Instead, they're the majority. That is now having us start to think about our next steps for these students. These findings verify a study we did a year ago so it’s very confirming to see this issue crop up again through Satchel Pulse.

How was the onboarding experience?

On a scale of one to ten the onboarding was definitely a ten! It was really easy throughout the whole process of setting up Satchel Pulse. I've been doing this role since 2013, so I'm used to anything new, and I know that you're always going to have glitches. Teachers are going to have learning pains and it’s just part of the process. Overall, it's been very easy to use and I love that you're still responding to us. So when we do have simple questions, I email the customer support team, and within an hour, they get back to me. The clever sync was so easy compared to our previous experiences with different vendors where we had to end up unsyncing because it ruined our data. Everything ran smoothly with Satchel Pulse. I also want to say thank you so much for the SEL library, because that was one of the biggest selling points for us was that library piece.

How can we improve Satchel Pulse?

I don’t have any improvements to add to it at the moment. I’ve really thought about it and I just don’t have any improvements!

The reason we chose Satchel Pulse was because of the rubric, the SEL resources, the quickness of the product and your team always answering our questions.