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Fellow_PublicPolicy_Headshot _woolf_nick woolf

Nick Woolf

Fellow_PublicPolicy_Headshot _woolf_nick woolf

Nick Woolf


Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston


Rappaport Public Policy Fellow



Rappaport Public Policy Fellows spend 10 weeks each summer serving within the highest levels of state and municipal governments in the Greater Boston Area. The program includes students from graduate and professional programs at local universities.

Graduate School
Tufts University

Undergraduate School
Tufts University

Tom Keane, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Kristen McKinnon, Service-Learning Specialist & Student Engagement Coordinator at the Center for Educational Options

Description of Fellowship
As a Rappaport Fellow at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Nick Woolf helped to support a cross-functional team that was tasked with revision the state’s Comprehensive Health Framework. This set of standards, which has not been updated since 1999, outlines what students at each grade-level are expected to know with regards to physical, emotional, and mental health. In his role, he acted as an internal content expert on social-emotional learning, evaluating standards related to mental health and – ultimately – collaborated with the Center for Instructional Support to create a reference guide to help educators in other content areas (e.g., mathematics, English, history) understand overlaps between the social and emotional competencies within the revised Health Framework and key practices within their respective subject of expertise. This “cross-walk” document will be used as part of DESE’s implementation strategy and distributed to public schools across the state in order to aid educators in integrating SEL into daily instruction. In addition, he was involved in a number of ancillary projects related to DESE’s social-emotional learning initiatives, including:

  • Redesigning the agency’s webpage on social and emotional learning in Massachusetts
  • Presenting updates on the Comprehensive Health Framework revisions to Jeff Riley, the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
    Coordinating meetings with a panel of public-school health educators to solicit feedback on the new health standards
  • Integrating resources from major organizations (CASEL and The Aspen Institute) onto DESE’s website to increase accessibility for educators and school leaders
  • Proposing a plan to create an online course for Massachusetts educators and school leaders on social and emotional learning